Canadian law professor Michael Geist will be the keynote speaker at InternetNZ's PublicACTA event, to be held in Wellington on 10 April ahead of a multinational meeting on the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. ACTA is being negotiated secretly by the USA, EU, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. It aims to increase the control intellectual property owners have over their products and ideas, and to reduce counterfeiting and the illegal trade in counterfeit goods. However, a series of leaks has raised concerns that the original brief of the pact has been expanded to include online file sharing and copying and could require policies such as internet disconnection to be applied by states that sign up to the accord. “New Zealand has emerged as a leading global voice on ACTA and I’m delighted to have the chance to participate in this important event," Geist says in a statement released by InternetNZ. “Many people around the world have watched with admiration at how thousands of New Zealanders have actively engaged in domestic and international copyright reform initiatives, promoting a balanced approach that meets the needs of all stakeholders." Geist, the Canada Research Chair in internet and e-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, has
written widely on the challenges of copyright and digital technology.