In his new role as Australia’s Minister for the Arts, Simon Crean has issued a joint media release with Craig Emerson, the Minister for Trade, announcing a breakthrough in negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Negotiations on the intellectual property enforcement agreement ACTA have been underway for three years, with the latest round of talks, in Tokyo, in September and October, producing the breakthrough: “Only a very few remaining issues now await resolution,” said the joint media release

Countries participating in the ACTA negotiations are Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States

Since the outset, the Australian Government has said that its involvement in ACTA is about encouraging other countries to adopt the same standards of intellectual property enforcement as already exist in Australia. “ACTA will provide the same strong and balanced approach to copyright enforcement that Australia has at home,” Crean said

Despite this assurance, the negotiations have encountered strong opposition from some quarters in both Australia and other participating countries, essentially concerned that ACTA may go too far in protecting the interests of IP rightsholders

Ministers Crean and Emerson said the agreement would support the development of Australia’s creative and knowledge-intensive industries, by promoting a more secure trading environment

“Internationalising these standards will support our creative arts industries – in film, music and other areas – and result in more sustainable jobs in the arts”, Crean said

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