After weeks of false charges that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement currently under negotiation would eliminate "DMCA-style safe harbors" or make it "impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger," copyright owners are finally fighting back. Today MPAA Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and other congressional leaders on copyright issues, asking the lawmakers to to lend their weight to the fight for the agreement:
MPAA letter re ACTA
Glickman also addresses the issue of transparency, acknowledging that the process, which has been opened to select participants from industry and interest groups but not the general public, has "foster[ed] apprehension over the Agreement’s substance" and created a "distraction." Glickman calls for the Administration and Congress "to provide for continued transparency as the negotiation moves forward." I'd go a bit further and suggest that, from now forward, USTR and other participants should do whatever is permissible under the law to explain exactly what ACTA is and would do; secrecy (though sometimes necessary) has the unfortunate effect of allowing the falsehoods and conspiracy theories to spread unchallenged.
Also today on Capitol Hill, the Senate Judiciary Committee today unanimously approved the nomination of Victoria Espinel to be the first White House Intellectual Enforcement Coordinator, better known as the "IP Czar." Here are the Judiciary Committee materials on Espinel, including her responses to the committee's questionnaire.
Update: Here's Public Knowledge's response to the MPAA letter. And make sure to read Nate Anderson's take on the MPAA letter in Ars Technica.