A rent-seeker fortress

The BRIC countries, in particular Brazil and India, reject the ACTA ad-hoc agreement. This opposition is not just motivated by diverging economic interests. Two dimensions of ACTA motivate it a a deeper level: these countries have been excluded -just like citizens of all countries- from the negotiation of the agreement, and ACTA’s aim is not the global interest. ACTA provisions do not aim at producing a better world, culturally richer, with a more balanced development, more respectful of the environment, or leading to more social justice. The promoters of ACTA will refer to the dangers of fake drugs, the poor quality of counterfeited products. But the measures set in the agreement do not aim at quality: they create new enforcement for copyright, trademarks and patents (to some degree) monopolies. ACTA is a fortress that a club of rent-seekers wants to build against knowledge, innovation and culture sharing.

Let’s compare the negotiation of ACTA with the civil society of free software, free culture, decentralized co-operation and appropriate environmental technology. There, instead of barbed fences, one finds the enthusiasm of discovering hundreds of millions of new partners. Priorities may differ, but nobody wants to barricade oneself behind the intellectual monopoly preventive police. Pick your model.

This post is also available in: French

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