On July 11, Mexico signed the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), joining in that effort countries like Morocco, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Japan and the United States of America.
In order to become binding law the Mexican Senate still needs to ratify ACTA. The ratification process may delay since Congress shall be replaced in September. Another reason for a delay is that groups will strongly pursue before the Senate the agreement’s rejection. The main argument against ACTA is copyright in digital environment. Opposing groups find the agreement as a threat against privacy rights in the Internet.
The Mexican government has carefully considered signing ACTA, for various reasons and expects its ratification, despite the opposition. The government has viewed ACTA as a means to enhance enforcement of intellectual property rights, beyond NAFTA, TRIPS and WIPO Agreements, by improving international cooperation regarding border measures as well as anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy actions in general.
Certainly, ACTA has included copyright enforcement standards in digital media. Their scope is quite broad indeed. However, they are intended to protect digital copyright, without affecting any legitimate interest under the Constitution. The General Director of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) has stated that: “The application of ACTA will not generate an environment of permanent monitoring and surveillance of the daily activities carried out over the internet, and will not be an excuse for checking or seizing computer equipment or personal audio and video players”.
Being an international agreement of public kind, ACTA would require implementation into domestic law. The Mexican government believes that by legislating under the framework of ACTA, Congress can adopt a balanced solution. Mexico urgently needs to raise levels of copyright protection in digital media, in order to catch up with international trends. And that will not be made in detriment of society´s own rights. Congress can take the lead and be the arbiter; ACTA is the vehicle to fulfill the purpose.
International groups like the International Trademark Association (INTA) have applauded the initiative by Mexico of signing ACTA. They recommend that the Senate ratifies and implements the agreement quickly.
We expect that the Mexican Senate ratifies ACTA, and properly implement the agreement in the Mexican law. We will keep you duly informed as to the progress of ratification.