Australia is one of a group of countries, including Canada and the US, supporting new anti-counterfeiting trade agreements, which would allow the confiscation and destruction of devices containing suspected copyrighted material, with no right to legal counsel or appeal.
This means that any border patrol agent in any country subscribing to the agreements would be permitted to suspend devices such as iPods, laptop computers, mobile phones and DVD recorders, with minimal proof and without any type of warrant.
The new agreement drafts also include the possibilities for the development of a governing body for copyright protection, which would operate solely and without accountability to any organisation such as the United Nations or World Trade Organisation.
Simon Crean, Minister for Trade, released a statement on his website stating: “Australia will begin negotiations with a number of trading partners on a new anti-counterfeiting trade agreement. The agreement aims to establish a new standard of intellectual property rights enforcement to combat the high levels of trade in counterfeit and pirated goods worldwide.”
If the agreements come into force, acts such as moving music from an iPod to a computer would be grounds for removal and destruction of both devices.
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