THE DRACONIAN Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is suffering from the fact that it was negotiated in secret.
Business in Holland have expressed dissatisfaction with the trade agreement, and half admitted that they had never heard of it before, suggesting that negotiation of the treaty that is supposed to protect 'intellectual property' involved insufficient opportunities for industry discussion.
The Dutch Chamber of Commerce has published the results of its study of business perceptions about the agreement. Where there are opinions, they are not in favour of it.
A 55 per cent majority of Dutch entrepreneurs said that they did not know what had "prompted ACTA", and only 40 per cent said that they had heard of it. Just five per cent of the small businesses that ACTA was supposedly written to protect know what it is.
The Dutch Chamber of Commerce is pondering whether to approve the agreement, a decision that other countries have wrestled with.
Of the entrepreneurs surveyed, 22 per cent said they thought that the Netherlands should not approve ACTA and should instead consider other methods such as technology for protecting their intellectual property.
Only 14 per cent of businesses in Holland surveyed support the agreement as it stands.
Dirk Poot, board member for the Pirate Party contacted us to point out a translation error in our story.
Where we have reported that some respondents would support technological measures in the fight against ‘piracy', Poot said that the opposite was true.
"Dutch businesses did not mention technological measures as a way to enforce IP. Quite on the contrary, they lamented that IP-protection is outdated and that there is a need for an overhaul of the IP-system," he said.
"The only thing they would like to have protected are their trademarks." µ