The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

The governments of the United States, the European Commission, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Canada, and Mexico are negotiating a trade agreement named the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Despite the name, the agreement is designed to address not only counterfeiting, but a wide range of intellectual property enforcement issues.

Despite several recent leaks, many important details of ACTA remain secret, including the names of participants in negotiations. What follows is a collection of documents, statements, media reports, blogs, analysis and comments regarding this proposed treaty. Attachments and the most recent items are given at the end.


Recent KEI statements on ACTA

February 26, 2012. What's (still) wrong with ACTA, and why governments should reject the illegitimate agreement

October 3, 2011 KEI comment on US signing of ACTA.

September 20, 2011. Two areas where ACTA is inconsistent with US law, injunctions and damages, KEI Policy Brief, 2011:2 .

Older Items

KEI's ACTA timeline

The May 11, 2011 "final" text of ACTA.

The December 3 , 2010 version of the ACTA text

The October 2, 2010 version of the ACTA text

August 25, 2010 version of the ACTA Text

Recent KEI blogs on ACTA.

New blogs regarding damages, injunctions, and remedies in the July 2010 text:

Comments on ACTA Provisions on Injunctions and Damages, KEI Research Note 2010:1, April 6, 2010.

Leaked or public versions of the ACTA Text:

The August 25, 2010 ACTA Text. A wiki of this text is available here

The 15 November 2010 version of the text, as released by USTR and others.

See also:


Relevant TACD Documents
  • Resolution on the enforcement of copyright, trademarks, patents and other intellectual property rights (IP 09-09) (adopted June 2009) (pdf version)

Older KEI Blogs, Commentary and other Documents


Transparency and ACTA

  • December 3, 2009, Ambassador Kirk: People would be “walking away from the table” if the ACTA text is made public
  • 22 July, 2009. NGO letter to USTR Transparency

    Petition to President Obama, regarding transparency of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

    13 October 2009, USTR's access by invite and NDA policy for ACTA : White House shares the ACTA Internet text with 42 Washington insiders, under non disclosure agreements.

    12 September 2009. James Love. "USTR's system of NDAs to provide private sector access to ACTA position" KEI Policy Blog.

    31 July 2009. James Love. "White House: ACTA still “secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy"" KEI Policy Blog.


    Papers and Articles

    April 2008. Aaron Shaw, “The Problem with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (and what to do about it),” KEStudies, Vol. 2.

    9 June 2008. Susan Sell, "The Global IP upward Ratchet, Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Enforcement Efforts: The State of Play," Institute for Global and International Studies, George Washington University.

    2 June 2008.  "The Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade: Agreement (ACTA): Global Policy Implications,"
    IQSensato's In Focus, Volume 2, Number 8 | Monday, 2 June 2008

    30 April 2008. Canadian Internet Policy and Interest Clinic, "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement."

    25 March 2008. Robin Gross, "IP Justice White Paper on the Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)."


    Civil Society Comments and Websites on ACTA 

    June 23, 2010. International Experts Find that Pending Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Threatens Public Interests. Visit American University Washington College of Law website for more information

    22 August 2009. FFII. "Unconstitutional aspects of ACTA (EU)"

    22 March 2008.  Essential Action, "Comments on Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Treaty."

    21 March 2008. IP Justice, "ACTA’s Misguided Effort to Increase Govt Spying and Ratchet-Up IPR Enforcement at Public Expense: IP Justice Comments to U.S.T.R. on the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)."

    21 March 2008. Public Knowledge, "Comments of Public Knowledge Re: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)." 

    21 March 2008.  Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), "Electronic Frontier Foundation Submission to Office of the United States Trade Representative on Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement."

    EFF website on ACTA

    Public Knowledge website on ACTA, containing links to more public comments. 

    Essential Action website on Enforcement


    Government Documents and Statements Regarding ACTA

    USTR website on ACTA

    Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. "ACTA and Issues Related to Pharmaceuticals and Counterfeit Medicines"

    8 July 2008. "World Economy," The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.  See sections 17 and 18, Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

    26 March 2008. New Zealand. "Information Sheet: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement." 

    13 November 2007. Australia. "Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Discussion Paper: An International Proposal for a Plurilateral Anti‑Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)."

    October 2007.  United States.  "Fact Sheet: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement."

    October 2007.  European Union.  "Fact Sheet: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement."

    23 October 2007. United States. "Ambassador Schwab Announces U.S. Will Seek New Trade Agreement to Fight Fakes," Press Release from the USTR. 

    23 October 2007.  Canada.  "Canada Joins Discussions toward International Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. " Press Release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade."

    23 October 2007. European Union, "European Commission seeks mandate to negotiate major new international anti- counterfeiting pact," Press release from EU Trade Commission. 


    The WikiLeaks Document

    This “Discussion Paper on a Possible Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” was originally circulated to a handful of corporate lobbyists, and is now available on Wikileaks.  For greater detail regarding the possible content of ACTA, consider the industry "asks" reported below.


    Industry Documents

    7 July 2008.  International Chamber of Commerce, "Business and the Global Economy: ICC statement on behalf of world business to the Heads of State and Government attending the Hokkaido Toyako G8 Summit, 7-9 July 2008."

    5 June 2008.  International Chamber of Commerce - Businiess Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (ICC-BASCAP), Letter to Canadian Minister of Trade and Foreign Affairs.

    3 June 2008.   ICC BASCAP, "Memorandum to ACTA Negotiatiors."

    21 March 2008.  PhRMA comments on ACTA.

    21 March 2008. International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Request for Public Comments." Comments submitted to Rachel Bae, USTR Director for Intellectual Property & Innovation. 

    17 March 2008. Recording Industry Association of America. "RIAA Suggestions for content of ACTA." 

    3 March 2008.  International Trademark Association and the ICC BASCAP, "The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Business Support for an Important Initiative," Paper presented to US Trade Representative Susan Schwab.  


    Government Meetings Held on ACTA

    July 2009. Swedish Presidency of the European Union. "ACTA 5th Round of negotiation (Rabat, 16-17 July 2009)". Press Release

    26 June 2008. DFAT Consultative Group Meeting, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia. Meeting notes provided by the Australian Digital Alliance.

    23 June 2008. EU ACTA Stakeholders Consultation Meeting, Geneva, Switzerland.  For more information, contact michelle (dot) childs (at) keionline.org 

    3-4 June 2008. EU ACTA Stakeholders Consultation Meeting. U.S. Mission in Geneva, Switzerland. Official EU report is here. Official US report is here.

    30 April 2008. Canada. "The Government of Canada is seeking the views of Canadians on the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)."

    15 February 2008. United States. "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA): Request for Public Comments," Federal Register Notice, Volume 73, Number 32.


    News Stories and Blogs

    16 July 2008. Monika Ermert, "Europe May Put ACTA Back On Faster Track," Intellectual Property Watch. 

    1 July 2008.  Wendy Seltzer, "The RIAA has an ACTA Wish-List," Wendy's Blog, July 1, 2008

    1 July 2008.  John Healey,  "ACTA Turning ISPs into Enforcers," LATimes.

    30 June 2008, Nate Anderson, "RIAA's ACTA wishlist includes gutted DMCA, mandatory filters," Arstechnica.

    25 June 2008. James Love, "A Few Important Stories that Are Not News (in the US)," The Huffington Post. 

    19 June 2008. Shamnad Basheer, "Is the Indian Drug Controller Participating in the ACTA Negotiations?" Spicy IP. 

    15 June 2008. "Opposing Lack of Transparency in IP: KEI and Michael Geist on the ACTA."  Spicy IP.

    13 June 2008.  Mike Palmedo, "Negotiations for an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Raise Concerns." American University Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property.

    11 June 2008. "ACTA Negotiations Move Forward Amid Controversy," Bridges Volume 12, Number 21.

    10 June 2008. Graeme Philipson, "Digital copyright: it's all wrong," The Sydney Morning Herald. 

    9 Jun 2008. Michael Geist, "Transparency needed on ACTA," The Toronto Star.

    6 June 2008.  Cory Doctorow, "Secret super-copyright treaty MEMO leaked," Boing Boing.

    6 June 2008.  William Patry, "Secret Government Part III," The Patry Copyright Blog. 

    5 June 2008. Monika Ermert, "Speculation Persists on ACTA as First Official Meeting Concludes," Intellectual Property Watch.

    5 June 2008. Ari Abramowitz, "The Art of the End Around," Public Knowledge.

    3 June 2008.  William Patry, "An ACTA Call to Arms: No More Secret Government," The Patry Copyright Blog. 

    2 June 2008. "Anti-Counterfeiting ACTA talks commence Tuesday." FYI.

    2 June 2008. Nate Anderson, "The real ACTA threat (it's not iPod-scanning border guards)," Ars Technica. 

    30 May 2008. "Embattled ACTA Negotiations Next Week In Geneva; US Sees Signing This Year." Intellectual Property Watch.

    4 March 2008. Liza Porteus Viana, "Business, Governments See Momentum For ACTA, But EU Snags," Intellectual Property Watch.

    23 October 2007.  Cory Doctorow, "Anti-counterfeiting treaty turns into maximum copyright free-for-all," Boing Boing.

    23 October 2007. Howard Knopf, "'ACTA' - a New Plurilateral Policy Platform," Excess Copyright. 

    April-June 2008.  Michael Geist's blogs on ACTA, michaelgeist.ca


    Attachments and Recent Blogs

    (The blogs and other documents below are not organized in chronological order.)

    AttachmentSize
    2352422-v1-ACTA_Text_for_Public_Release_16_April_2010.pdf234.81 KB
    15nov2010-acta.pdf209.75 KB
    ACTA_TEXT_3December2010.pdf89.72 KB
    acta1105_en.pdf226.07 KB