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Re: REQUEST FOR HELP Obama Admin rules texts of new IPR agreement are state secrets
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 09:03:51 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: Nick Johnson <arachnid () notdot net>
Date: March 13, 2009 8:47:34 AM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Subject: Re: [IP] Obama Admin rules texts of new IPR agreement are state secrets

Dave,

For IP, if you would be so kind.

I note that New Zealand has committed to soliciting public discussion
of the proposed agreement after a draft is formulated, but before it
is enacted in New Zealand. This is encouraging, but the process is
still distressingly short on transparency, given how much this
agreement is likely to affect every one of us in our day to day lives.

With that in mind, I'm interested, as a New Zealand citizen, in
submitting a documentation request under our own freedom of
information legislation, the Official Information Act:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_Information_Act_1982 . However,
I don't have any experience with submitting these sorts of requests.
While I'm sure some of it is NZ-specific, presumably a lot of the
knowledge of how to assemble these requests carries over. Further,
half the battle is knowing precisely what to ask for - asking for "all
documents relating to ACTA" probably won't fly.

Is there anyone out there in IP-land who would be so kind as to give
me some guidance in formulating a request? I suspect the answer will
be redacted or omitted entirely, but I think it's important to try
this in as many of the concerned jurisdictions as possible.

Regards,

Nick Johnson

On Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 2:02 AM, David Farber <dave () farber net> wrote:


Begin forwarded message:

From: Jim Warren <jwarren () well com>
Date: March 12, 2009 7:56:45 PM EDT
To: Dave Farber <dave () farber net>
Subject: fwd: [Random-bits] Obama Admin rules texts of new IPR agreement are
state secrets

The government wants to protect monopolies of thought (e.g. drug patents, genetic patents, "business process" patents, algorithm patents, etc.), and
how it wants to do it is a "state secret" (except, probably, from the
would-be monopolists - Microsoft, Big Pharma, Dow Chemical, Big Agri- Biz,
financial "innovators", etc.)!  --jim

At 5:15 PM -0400 3/12/09, James Love <james.love () keionline org> posted to
random-bits <Random-bits () lists essential org>:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-love/obama-administration-rule_b_174450.html

Obama Administration rules texts of new IPR agreement are state secrets
James Love

We have been seeking access to documents relating to negotiations on an
important new intellectual property enforcement treaty. The agreement,
misleadingly named the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, is
thought to cover a wide range of intellectual property enforcement
issues -- including standards for granting injunctions for alleged
infringement of patents or copyrights, damages, seizures of goods in
transit, surveillance of Internet digital file transfers, searches of
personal property, and a dozen other topics.

There are number of outstanding Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
requests for key documents, by groups like EFF, Public Knowledge, and
KEI. In one of our FOIA requests, we asked for 7 specific documents,
referenced by the exact title and date of the documents. These documents
are the proposals for the text of the agreement.

The texts are available to the Japanese government. They are available
to the 27 member states of the European Union. They are available to the
governments of Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia. They are
available to Morocco, and many other countries. They are available to
"cleared" advisers (mostly well connected lobbyists) for the
pharmaceutical, software, entertainment and publishing industries. But
they are a secret from you, the public.

Today we received this letter from the White House, Office of the United States Trade Representative. Our FOIA request was denied on the grounds
that the documents are "information that is properly classified in the
interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958."

Here is a link to a PDF of the denial of the FOIA request.

http://www.keionline.org/misc-docs/3/ustr_foia_denial.pdf

...

--
James Love, Director, Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org | mailto:james.love at keionline.org
Wk: +1.202.332.2671 | US Mobile +1.202.361.3040 | Geneva Mobile
+41.76.413.6584




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