June 6, 2011

ACTA is at peak snake oil

Print More

The recent European Commission IPR strategy paper also mentions ACTA. It is quite odd how they highlight an unsubstantiated claim that the ACTA text was in line with the acquis despite evidence of the contrary.

The EU should also be in a position to ratify the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) once it has been signed by the contracting parties in the course of 2011. ACTA, which is fully in line with the EU acquis, is an important step in improving the international fight against IPR infringements, in cooperation with countries sharing the same concerns and views. The Commission will table its proposal for an EU decision to sign the agreement in the coming weeks.

As compliance with the Acquis usually has to be taken for granted, it is quite telling that they stress that. Does repetition of a claim demonstrate the truth of it? It is is known as the argumentum ad nauseam. The wikipedia entry features a quote from the American Heritage dictionary:

Argumentum ad nauseam… is an argument made repeatedly… until nobody cares to discuss it any more.

Is is possible to override legal fact with truthiness? Yes, it is! That is why they are so afraid that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gets asked about ACTA’s legality. They avoid the ECJ to get asked and repeat the claim of compliance.

When you consider the title of the EC IPR strategy paper you find a larger pattern:

A Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights – Boosting creativity and innovation to provide economic growth, high quality jobs and first class products and services in Europe

No empiral evidence or scrutiny test whatsoever is made available that these upcoming legislative proposals would “provide economic growth, high quality jobs and first class products and services”. A litmus test for snake oil is that a vendor cannot imagine a desease that is not cured by it. Then you know your vendors lies to you but how to prove him wrong? A scientist would get the snake oil tested by a pharmaceutical research institution.

ACTA is at peak snake oil. The ECJ could clarify the legal situation.