23rd February 2012 14:25
ACTA's effect on the developing world - "fatal"
Phil Hunt - Pirate Party UK Foreign Policy Spokesperson:
"Criticism of ACTA has often focused on the harm it will do to the Internet, but that doesn't address one of the most important issues that ACTA presents: the fact that it will also kill sick people in developing countries by denying them access to affordable generic drugs - whilst doing nothing to address the issue of unsafe counterfeit medications.
Medecins sans Frontieres have been expressing their concerns ever since the very first drafts of the treaty were leaked, and they have reiterated their concerns at the latest draft, saying that it will have "fatal consequences on access to medecines" . Despite the exclusion of patents from key sections of the treaty, border seizures of generic drugs on trademark grounds would still multiply under ACTA, and excessive punishments will act as a deterrent to the production and trade in generic medicine. This should be more than enough to force governments and unions to rethink their stance on ACTA.
The TUC, unions and business groups have been understandably keen to see ACTA signed on the assumption that it will help reduce the manufacture of counterfeit goods and thus help the workers they represent as well as the wider economy. However China, Russia, India, and Brazil, the largest manufacturers of such goods, have all publicly declared that they will not sign ACTA. They consider it too extreme.
It is time that the international community came together to deal with intellectual property openly and transparently, taking full account of the impact on developing states, innovation and civil liberties across the globe. We cannot sacrifice human lives to the interests of the rich world's IP monopolists."
0161 987 7880
Pirate Party UK is a political party registered with the Electoral Commission.