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June 1, 2010
ACTA May Affect Physical Products, Too
Canadian law professor Michael Geist
remains the go-to man for keeping track of what's going on with ACTA
. Public Knowledge also has a good page of reference information and links
Geist's blog entry from this morning links ACTA with a topic that has been of recurring interest to me here, the ability of countries to produce generic versions of life-saving, but patented, medicines.
According to Geist, India is seeking allies to help it block at least the portions of ACTA that could allow seizures of shipments in transit. This would impact India, a major producer of generic medicines, as it tries to ship those medicines to third-world countries. The recipient countries, in many cases, depend on these generics to keep their people alive.
From all I've read about ACTA it's a bad deal for pretty much everyone except the big intellectual property monopolies and should probably be scrapped. Any time a treaty negotiation has to depend on secrecy and subterfuge you can pretty much bet it's a bad deal for the average person. However, scrapping ACTA still won't address the underlying problems. Copyright, patent, and other IP regimes around the world remain inconsistent, massively outdated, and increasingly lopsidedly tilted against the people who actually make and use the items that are supposed to be protected.
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