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ACTA: Partial transparency isn't legitimacy

Strasbourg, April 21st, 2010 - The release of the public draft of ACTA1 is a milestone in the long opposition to this illegitimate agreement, which aims at tackling trademark, copyright and patent infringements. Now, citizens, NGOs and parliaments all around the world must continue to act together to expose ACTA and its dangers. This whole policy laundering is incompatible with democracy and the ideals of preserving fundamental rights, Internet, public health and innovation at large.

After more than two years of opaque elaboration, ACTA negotiators have finally bowed to the pressure of NGOs and citizens worldwide. The European Parliament, as well as various institutions and industries have also opposed the negotiating process and the potential consequences of this non-amendable plurilateral agreement.

Today's release of the text does not legitimize the content of ACTA, as transparency is no excuse for political laundering2 and the circumvention of democratic processes.

"This release of the text shows how effective the massive mobilization of citizens around the world can be. All the leaks have shown that ACTA could dangerously hinder freedom of expression, access to medicines and innovation in the global knowledge society. This official release suggests that it is still the case3. We must firmly refuse that unelected officials on their own devise policies that have an impact on such critical societal issues.", concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

Everyone is invited to comment on parts of the released document4 in order to analyse it.