Ei-iE

New IP treaty proposed

published 6 June 2008 updated 6 June 2008

The European Union, the United States and Canada are negotiating a new international agreement intended to combat global infringements of intellectual property.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) would require parties to establish new enforcement practices to protect copyright, patents, and trademarks.

According to a Canadian document leaked to the press in May, ACTA would allow border guards and other security officials to inspect travelers’ laptops and iPods for music, video and other media that violates copyright law. Any devices found to contain materials that infringe copyright could be confiscated and destroyed.

Civil liberties groups say these provisions would represent a serious violation of privacy rights.