Questioning ACTA

Copyright_symbol_9InternetNZ, and others, have created a website to consolidate information regarding ACTA and its impact in New Zealand. Activity around ACTA is not slowing down: ACTA negotiations are heading to New Zealand in April, and the MED is holding a Q&A session next week. I’m submitting a couple of questions in absentia, as documented below.

What is New Zealand’s negotiating position on the various components of ACTA?

This, to my mind, is the key question. ACTA negotiations are being held in secret. The NZ Ministry of Economic Development (MED) is representing us in these negotiations. As such, we need to know what position the MED is taking into the negotiations on our behalf, and whether this position is representative of our economic, cultural, and philosophical requirements.

As with any international treaty, the terms of ACTA are up for negotiation. I’d like to know what negotiating position the NZ MED is taking into the ACTA talks on our behalf. Why is New Zealand entering into ACTA, and what do we expect to get out of it, other than protection of New Zealand products and copyright (which are already protected by international law)?

What provisions does ACTA make for protection of personal privacy and freedom of speech?

Based on information to date, it is hard not to assume that the majority of ACTA provisions relating to copyright infringement are designed to protect large copyright holders. What (if any) counter provisions are in place to ensure that these terms do not result in degraded privacy (e.g. deep packet inspection) for individual internet users?

Given the public and political reaction to the proposed S92a legislation, what provisions are in place to require evidence and recourse in the event of a “3 strikes” requirement from ACTA?

Additionally, what is the MED’s position on ACTA’s notice-and-takedown provisions, and specifically the documented chilling effect caused by abuse of such a provision?

If ACTA is implemented in its current (leaked) form, what steps are being taken to ensure legitimate internet use is not impeded?

There is a blistering pace of change in entertainment and the internet. New business models are emerging. Creators and artists are discovering and utilising new direct sales channels, and many have found value in allowing more open use of their content to generate ticket and merchandise sales.

What steps are being taken to ensure that the implementation of ACTA does not adversely affect these artists and business models? How does the MED propose, for example, that legitimate and infringing uses of similar content are differentiated? Are there any provisions in ACTA that protect individual content creators from predatory and discriminatory treatment by corporations?

What do you think?

If you want to add to my queries or comment on them, please reply below, or directly on the site.


  1. Welcome to the cause 🙂

    Sadly, your questions won’t get answered beyond “we can’t disclose this because of confidentiality agreements”, which is marginally more civilized than the “It’s national security, sonny!” you’d get in the US.
    Won’t stop us asking, though 😉

    You might be interested in my adventures with MED last year on this, as documented at

  2. Yep, I’m not holding my breath for any informative responses.

    Although I am hoping that by posing these questions (like yours) we can at least give them a hint that we’re keen to see more answers, and show just how concerning the lack of transparency is.

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