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12.31.09

ACTA Murders

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 6:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Lesser-known implications of passing draconian documents such as the ACTA

A few years ago Joseph Stiglitz explained why TRIPS [1, 2, 3, 4], an element of ACTA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14], leads to the death of many innocent people.

This does not prevent gullible politicians from pressing on, but people in Africa are already protesting:

Anti-Counterfeit Act Violates Right to Health, Say Patients

Kenya’s new Anti-Counterfeit Act will be challenged on March 8 in the country’s Constitutional Court on the basis that it violates the right to health.

The petitioners, three people living with HIV, argue that the law confuses generics with fake medicine.

This could cause a health crisis as generics constitute 90 per cent of medicines used in Kenya.

We wrote about this before. The pharmaceutical cartel tries to take generics and their makers out of business, by paying (bribing) them or passing new laws that make them illegal. TechDirt has more on the subject.

As a bunch of countries continue to negotiate ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, in secrecy, Kenya already has its own Anti-Counterfeit Act. Michael Geist points us to the news that that particular law is now being challenged in Kenya for violating peoples “right to health.” The issue is worth following, because it will almost certainly become an issue assuming ACTA moves forward. Whenever we discuss ACTA, it’s inevitable that someone stops by to say that anti-counterfeiting is really, really important to stop dangerous counterfeit drugs from being sold, potentially harming people. Now, I have no doubt that counterfeit drugs may be a serious problem — but if that’s the problem, we should target a narrow attack on that problem alone, not some wider “anti-counterfeiting” effort.

ACTA would kill many people. It’s not about stopping “criminals” and “pirates”; it’s also about holding ill people hostage and ‘euthanising’ those who cannot offer the pharmaceutical cartel enough income.

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