Michael Geist Heading Down Under for PublicACTA

You may be unaware that various nefarious parties are currently negotiating a global treaty that plans to roger the freedom we currently enjoy on the internet. The next round of negotiations are being held in Wellington, and the fine folks at InternetNZ have secured the keynote services of a veritable superstar, Michael Geist for their pre-ACTA conference.

ACTA brings back those lovely ideas like internet termination for copyright infringement, so we should be worried about it. Think about it: you can conduct fraud, hacking, or even child pornography on the web and not have your internet cut off. But infringe copyright? Don’t even think about it you dirty “stealing” pirate!

Geist was the guy that broke the first leak of the ACTA wording, bringing a degree of clarity to the clandestine treaty, and exposing the truth behind the weasel-words that we were getting from the negotiators. There has been an avalanche of reaction since that first leak. Now even the European Parliament are baulking at the treaty.

Now you know about ACTA, get thee along to InternetNZ’s PublicACTA event on the 10th of April and make some noise.

Full release follows:
[quote]Michael Geist to keynote PublicACTA – InternetNZ
Media release – 10 March 2010

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) is excited to announce that
renowned Canadian law professor Michael Geist, a world authority on
technology law issues, will be the keynote speaker at the PublicACTA
event, being held in Wellington on 10 April 2010.

“We are delighted that Professor Geist is able to make it to New
Zealand to contribute to the debate around the ACTA negotiations,”
says InternetNZ Policy Director Jordan Carter.

PublicACTA is being held the weekend before the next round of ACTA
negotiations in Wellington, 12-16 April 2010.

ACTA is a plurilateral trade agreement being negotiated by the USA,
EU, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries, aimed
at increasing the control that intellectual property owners have over
their products and ideas, and at reducing incidents of counterfeiting
and illegal trade in goods. The negotiation phase of the treaty is
intended to be finished in 2010.

Professor Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and
E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, has
written widely on the challenges of copyright and digital technology.

“His in-depth understanding of the ACTA process to date, and well
publicised positions in favour of citizen access to the negotiation
process, will add quality analysis and profile to the event,” Carter
says.

“PublicACTA will be aimed at creating a constructive contribution to
the negotiations being held in Wellington. Professor Geist’s
participation will contribute to that goal,” says Carter.

Professor Geist is looking forward to participating in the event:

“New Zealand has emerged as a leading global voice on ACTA and I’m
delighted to have the chance to participate in this important event.

“Many people around the world have watched with admiration at how
thousands of New Zealanders have actively engaged in domestic and
international copyright reform initiatives, promoting a balanced
approach that meets the needs of all stakeholders,” he says.

Further information about Michael Geist is available at his website,
which can be found at www.michaelgeist.ca.

People who are interested in attending the PublicACTA event should
register their interest by sending an email to rsvp@internetnz.net.nz.

Further details about the Conference will be released on a dedicated
website next week.[/quote]

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