April 22, 2010 | Florian Leppla

Release of ACTA draft can only be the first step

After two years of negotiations behind closed doors we have finally seen a draft of ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. It's about time. This is the first official release of a document since negotiations on the treaty started in June 2008.

The mere fact that the draft was released is a great victory for campaigners who have long fought for more transparency of the negotiations. However, it can only be the first step.

The document does not tell us the position of individual countries. So we won't know who is pushing for the most dangerous enforcement policies. Furthermore, previous documents, which are essential to understand the whole process, have not been released.

Clearly, the Commission has bowed to the pressure from campaigners. We have to keep up this pressure so that all documents are made publicly available. We also need an open process that allows consumer and citizens groups to influence what goes in the final text.

ORG will be analysing the text in detail and discuss the next steps with fellow groups such as Consumer Focus, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and La Quadrature du Net.