That, with no other input whatsoever, should make you know that you should be against it.

Looking at the Ars Technica site, I see that the MPAA has released a statement, and also as an aside, I wonder how it is that it can qualify for an .org domain, as it is hardly a non-profit organization.

[mpaa.org]

MPAA STATEMENT REGARDING
RECENT ROUND OF ACTA NEGOTIATIONS

WASHINGTON – The following is a statement by Greg Frazier, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), regarding the recent round of negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
“ACTA is an important step forward in strengthening international cooperation and enforcement for intellectual property rights. It is also an important signal that the world’s largest economies recognize the critical value of intellectual property rights to their global competitiveness and are committed to moving ahead together to protect the jobs of the millions of men and women working in film and other creative industries.
We continue to believe ACTA must include robust protections for intellectual property online, building on established international norms if it is to meet its potential as a state-of-the art agreement to combat counterfeiting and piracy.
We commend the U.S. Trade Representative and the other international negotiators for their hard work in resolving nearly all major issues.
The ability to finance, create and distribute entertainment, and the livelihood of the more than 2.4 million talented and dedicated men and women who work in our industry are dependent upon our ability to protect the intellectual property that is the lifeblood of our industry. No business can sustain itself if forced to compete against the widespread theft and unlawful distribution of its products.”

About the MPAA The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Its members include: The Walt Disney Studios; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLLP; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

# # #

Well gag me with a pitchfork. It’s not like the large studios really need an advocacy organization, as each of them has a huge fund to draw from, hardly needing any “protection” from the average user, nor is any banding together of the separate studios really needed, except so that they can use their wealth of overall power to buy, bribe, or otherwise intimidate their adversaries, which can be anyone at anytime.

The Ars article speaks of how the European Parliament is not yet convinced of the nature of the ACTA – that could be the only thing saving us from the enforcement of things that many, including the EFF, have warned us about.

The motion picture business likes (PDF) the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). After a few tough years of record-setting box office receipts, the industry welcomes new legal enforcement tools that will "protect the jobs of the millions of men and women working in film and other creative industries."

But the European Parliament isn’t convinced yet. After all, there’s not even a text to view. And despite official statements expressing peace, love, and harmony, it’s clear that ACTA hasn’t actually been finalized and that some real issues still remain.

So the news that negotiators have packed it in and will host no more meetings didn’t sit very well with Parliament, which worries that an incomplete deal is being passed off as final and will soon be shoved down its throat. To keep its collective throat clear of ACTA-sized obstructions, key members of Parliament have taken preemptive measures.

Thank goodness for small favors. Until the ACTA is thoroughly discussed in an open forum – one where the average American can monitor the proceedings – no final decision binding us should be reached.

According to Euractiv, MEPs including Parliamentary Vice President Stavros Lambrinidis, are "alarmed" and have drafted a letter to the European Commission, which handled the negotiations.

"If the agreement is indeed concluded, we demand from the Commission to present the final text of the negotiation to the European Parliament as soon as it is procedurally possible," said the letter, which also called on the EU not to apply anything in ACTA "before the European Parliament has the chance to express its informed opinion on the issue."

That opinion could be a cantankerous one. Parliament has shown repeated irritation at being kept in the dark about ACTA negotiations. A group of MEPs asked ACTA negotiators to meet with them last month in Tokyo, but the Japanese government declined to arrange the meeting, citing scheduling concerns. And MEPs have shown concern over the Internet portions of ACTA, along with patent issues that could create problems for access to medicines.

We’ll know more about ACTA, and its reception, on October 7, when both US and EU negotiators will provide briefings and (apparently) the text of the deal.

The fact that, for so long, the ACTA was held almost in secret by those who were authoring it is worrisome, and then, when it was first  spoken of, the reticence to release it to the public was more alarming.

If the ACTA is something on the up and up, with only the proper enforcement of the law at its core, there should never have been any secrecy needed. Things legal and right never need to be kept secret.

If you are at all concerned about the upcoming problems that may be unleashed, you should pay attention to the releases on October 7, and continue to monitor the releases coming out of the proceedings held.

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Think twice before you speak, and then you may be able to say something more insulting than if you spoke right out at once.

– Evan Esar

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