This short paper, prepared for a workshop on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the Public Interest at American University’s Washington College of Law, considers the draft Internet provisions of ACTA in the context of concerns raised in the media that the treaty will require signatories to mandate graduated response regimes (à la France’s controversial HADOPI system) for online copyright enforcement. Although the Consolidated Text of ACTA, released in late April, confirms that mandatory graduated response is off the table for the treaty’s negotiators, the treaty in its current form both accommodates and promotes the adoption of graduated response. Moreover, opponents of graduated response should be wary of the fact that public law mechanisms—be they domestic or international—are not the only means by which graduated response can effectively become the law for Internet users. The United States and Ireland provide examples of the trend toward private ordering in the project of online copyright enforcement.
Bridy, Annemarie. 2010. ACTA and the Specter of Graduated Response. PIJIP Research Paper no. 2. American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC.