In recent days Mexico signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in order to combat the counterfeiting and piracy of trade marks, inventions, intellectual and artistic works. Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States have all signed the agreement.
As a reaction to global proliferation of commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy, ACTA is an international agreement which intends to help countries to work together to tackle more effectively Intellectual Property Rights violations. ACTA establishes a general framework to stop the illegal trade of piracy and falsified products, including mass distribution of digital media.
Despite the voices against this treaty - who consider that certain provisions of ACTA are as restrictive as, or harder than some of the ones contained in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) - and that claim it infringes the essential rights of internet users, Mexico's' signature of the Agreement is an additional proof of the effort this country is making to raise the bar in addressing the illegal trade of counterfeited and pirated goods, sending at the same time a strong message against piracy and counterfeit.
It is worth mentioning that, after its signature, this treaty now has to be ratified by the Senate of Mexico. A public debate regarding ACTA's suitability or lack thereof is open, so the Senate must listen to all voices, including the opinion of Twitter and Internet users in different countries, who are against ACTA, and the owners of IP rights.
The Senate should keep in mind that it is fundamental to protect all the individual rights, including the access to information. However the Senate must guarantee as well that Mexico will avoid piracy and counterfeiting. In this regard, if the Senate ratifies ACTA, a secondary law that will support and regulate ACTA should be created in Mexico.
The AMIPCI in Mexico (Mexican Internet Association in Spanish) on the one hand, has requested the Senate to reject ACTA because they consider that this treaty will be against the development of Internet in the Country and that it also may affect the right to access to information and knowledge.
On the other hand, other groups consider that ACTA does not violate human rights – which are recognized by Mexican Constitution – nor the international treaties to which Mexico is party, and that it fully respects those essential rights such as freedom of expression, the right to legality, privacy data, due process, and access to information and culture.
The Senate's next session will be held after September 1, 2012. Then we will know the resolution. That is, if the Senate considered that ACTA is legal and therefore, if the Mexico intention to combat the counterfeiting and piracy of Intellectual Property Rights trough the sign of ACTA is valid.
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