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ACTA or not ACTA – now is the time to decide

2012 May 22

ACTA has limited democratic credibility

ACTA as a threat to freedom of expression

ACTA as a threat to privacy

ACTA’s undemocratic institutional legacy

 (Peter Bradwell)

On the 9th June the UK will take part in the Europe wide day of action against ACTA with events being staged in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Glasgow,  Liverpool and London (ACTA Demo 9th June).  Other countries are taking part in the protest incl. Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Denmark, Poland etc. It would be quicker to mention the countries who are not taking part but I cannot do that to them.

Should you decide to support the protest or ignore it, make sure you read the following articles and then make up your mind.

Peter Bradwell gives a briefing on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement –

“We believe that ACTA pays insufficient attention to the interests of citizens and consumers and in doing so undermines the Internet as a tool for the promotion of freedom of expression and innovation.

For example, it promotes and incentivises the private ‘policing’ of online content through broad thresholds for its criminal measures. It exacerbates such problems by failing to provide adequate and robust safeguards for fundamental freedoms. ACTA may not be directly or explicitly aimed at our ‘everyday use’ of the Internet. But this is a target it will likely hit. Its provisions amount to a framework that encourages signatories to give away power over what happens online far too cheaply.

Similar problems afflict current EU laws on IP enforcement. With these laws under review, it is unwise to draft and sign an Agreement that binds Member States more closely to them.

For these reasons Open Rights Group believes that the European Parliament should reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and begin a more open discussion about the future of IP and copyright in the digital age.”

Please read the full article


 For those who cannot remember what ACTA stand for –

“The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a multinational treaty intended to create a new international legal framework for the enforcement of intellectual property rights. The treaty was formally published in April 2011, signed by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the US, and the EU. It will not come into force until six countries have ratified the agreement; so far, none has.” Taken from an article published by the Open Rights Group

And finally

ACTA Edinburgh: David Martin’s views by Jim Killock

“Last Friday, David Martin MEP organised a seminar on ACTA in the EU Parliament’s Edinburgh offices. He invited ORG to speak, alongside Susie Winter of the Alliance Against IP TheftInfringement, a chair from the EU Commission, and about 20 people attended the meeting.

Martin is the rapporteur for the lead EU Parliamentary committee for ACTA, International Trade. His views matter a lot, which is why his decision to recommend a no vote is highly significant.” Read on.

And another point of view –

Earlier this year, Michael Geist appeared at the European Parliament’s INTA Committee Workshop on ACTA where he reached the following conclusion

“… ACTA’s harm greatly exceeds its potential benefits. Given ACTA’s corrosive effect on transparency in international negotiations, the damage to international intellectual property institutions, the exclusion of the majority of the developing world from the ambit of the agreement, the potentially dangerous substantive provisions, and the uncertain benefits in countering counterfeiting, there are ample reasons for the public and politicians to reject the agreement in its current form.  In doing so, governments would help restore confidence in the global intellectual property system and open the door to a new round of negotiations premised on transparency, inclusion, and evidence-based policy-making.” <>

Now we can understand why Michael Geist “was unable to post the full report until granted approval by the European Parliament INTA Committee”.






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