EU Releases Text of Secretive ACTA Copyright Treaty

The final version of the international Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) leaves the door open for countries to introduce the so-called three-strikes rule, which would see Internet users cut off if they download copyrighted material.

The controversial paragraph in the text allows that signatories to the agreement can order ISPs to disclose personal information about customers. Although the text has been somewhat watered down from the original wording, which said that parties "shall" provide laws to demand information from ISPs. Sources close to the negotiations said that the current document can be seen as suggesting "what is considered best practice," which may be interpreted as encouraging countries to introduce such draconian measures.

Members of Parliament who have been angry about the secrecy surrounding the negotiations received the text at the same time as the media and will not be briefed on the negotiations until Thursday. Some parliamentarians have threatened to block the accord if they are not given sufficient time to consider its ramifications.

(More to come.)

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