Google Attorney Calls Intellectual Property Treaty “Gollum-like”

Nothing like a good Lord of the Rings reference to make your point about Copyright Law. Declan McCullagh writes on CNET News:

from Vic201401 at Wikimedia Commons

Gollum sculpture at Wax Museum in Mexico City. Photo: Vic201401 (CC)

An attorney for Google slammed a controversial intellectual property treaty, saying it has “metastasized” from a proposal to address border security and counterfeit goods to an international legal framework sweeping in copyright and the Internet.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, is “something that has grown in the shadows, Gollum-like,” without public scrutiny, Daphne Keller, a senior policy counsel in Mountain View, Calif., said at a conference at Stanford University.

Both the Obama administration and the Bush administration had rejected requests from civil libertarians and technologists for the text of ACTA, with the White House last year even indicating that disclosure would do “damage to the national security.” After pressure from the European Parliament, however, negotiators released the draft text two weeks ago.

The international adoption of ACTA could increase the liability for Internet intermediaries — such, perhaps, as search engines — Keller said. “You don’t want to play Russian roulette with very high statutory damages.”

[Read more at CNET News]