Leak reveals Wellington ACTA venue and agenda

The next round of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations will be hosted at the Intercontinental Hotel in Wellington from April 12-16, according to a leaked agenda document.

The draft document, which states that it "should not yet be made public," was posted on Twitter early this morning. It outlines the venue and a broad agenda for the Wellington leg, including sessions on "Border Measures," "Enforcement Procedures in the Digital Environment," and "Transparency".

Delegates from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, Morocco, and the US will attend the talks.

Labour communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said the secrecy of the ACTA negotiations was cause for concern. Any cross-country copyright and intellectual property policy decisions could have serious implications for New Zealand, which risked losing sovereignty if a new multi-national organisation was set up to oversee enforcement, she said.

"We want to make sure that New Zealand's position is being clearly articulated to New Zealanders.

"My issue is mainly around the lack of transparency and ensuring that New Zealand has protections for copyright and intellectual property holders that aren't overly punitive."

Curran said all parties to the negotiations had to agree before the content of the meetings could be made public, and that had not happened yet.

"Not everyone has agreed, and the government has to abide by the rules, but my argument is that they can still make New Zealand's own position public."

Commerce minister Simon Power was not available for comment when PC World tried to contact him today. He has previously said that the changing nature of technology had made entering into the ACTA negotiations necessary.

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