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InternetNZ to take public message to ACTA negotiators

Media Release - 2 March 2010 - InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) will assist the public in voicing its concerns about the controversial international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) through an open conference to be held next month in Wellington, New Zealand.

“We’re going to give the public the chance to have their say - in contrast to the secrecy of the negotiation process,” says Jordan Carter, InternetNZ Policy Director.

PublicACTA will be held on Saturday, 10 April 2010, two days ahead of Round 8 of the ACTA negotiations on 12-16 April in Wellington. The outputs of PublicACTA will be provided to the New Zealand government negotiators.

PublicACTA will be an open and public opportunity for people to critique the known and likely content of the ACTA proposals, providing a counterpoint to the secrecy of the negotiations.

“These plurilateral negotiations appear to extend well beyond the area of trade and physical counterfeiting to potentially cover non-commercial infringement of copyright material by ordinary citizens and digital rights management,” Carter says.

Despite the high level of secrecy surrounding the process, some of the proposals have leaked and demonstrate cause for concern.

"ACTA could affect everyone's rights on the Internet.  Proposals from some countries seek to go beyond New Zealand's current public position. It is therefore very important that there is a forum for public discussion," says Carter.

"The aim of PublicACTA is to raise the public’s concerns, seek improvements to the Agreement, and provide an opportunity for people to connect and discuss the issues. The output will be an agreed statement that the public and interested organisations can sign up to, to be delivered to New Zealand Government negotiators and politicians."

The New Zealand Government today called for submissions on ACTA identifying the dates of the negotiations and outlining some specific areas they would like feedback on. InternetNZ will also submit on that document, which has a deadline of 31 March 2010.

Details of the programme of and high profile international guests at PublicACTA will be provided in coming days.

For more information contact:

Jordan Carter
Policy Director, InternetNZ
021 442 649

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