The Washington Post published an article on March 26, 2010, called “Anti-counterfeiting agreement raises constitutional concerns.” The authors are Harvard Law School professors Jack Goldsmith and Lawrence Lessig. The article starts:
“The much-criticized cloak of secrecy that has surrounded the Obama administration’s negotiation of the multilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was broken Wednesday. The leaked draft of ACTA belies the U.S. trade representative’s assertions that the agreement would not alter U.S. intellectual property law. And it raises the stakes on the constitutionally dubious method by which the administration proposes to make the agreement binding on the United States.”
This Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a big deal. If President Obama signs an executive order agreeing to ACTA , copyright law would be substantially changed without any input from Congress. The United States Constitution provides that Congress makes U.S. law and the President enforces those laws. President Obama intends to make law and enforce it and bypass Congress altogether. This is the subject of the Washington Post article.
For more on this important topic, including some of the proposed new copyright laws contained in the current version of ACTA, see Temple Law School Professor David Post’s article on ACTA called “Outrageous Treaty Nonsense, or The Copyright Tail Wagging the Internet Dog.” See also Public Knowledge on ACTA and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on ACTA.