By Tony Romm - 04/16/10 04:27 PM EDT
The absence of that rule likely spells good news to ISPs, seemingly all of which have long resisted the proposed role of Web deputy. And it should satisfy consumers, too, some of whom lashed after a leaked ACTA document suggested negotiators wanted their Internet companies to penalize them for their conduct.
Whether the release of the entire draft satisfies other ACTA critics, however, remains to be seen. Many of the treaty's most vocal opponents have hammered not only the proposed accord's content, but the Obama administration's approach to negotiating it.
Some interest groups fear the White House might negotiate ACTA as an "executive agreement," not an international treaty. The prior approach, which is usually meant for accords that do not alter U.S. law, is possible without Senate ratification. By contrast, a treaty would require the upper chamber's bipartisan approval, which might prove difficult to secure.
Nevertheless, the USTR noted in its statement that negotiations over the agreement would continue into June 2010, with the next round of talks slated to occur as Switzerland. The office added the goal is to conclude ACTA "as soon as possible in 2010," though it offered no other timeline.