I haven’t signed the Avaaz Petition on ACTA (because I find it exaggarated) but 1.3 Mio citizens have:
As concerned global citizens, we call on you to stand for a free and open Internet and reject the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which would destroy it.
The Commissioner responsible, Mr. Karel De Gucht, undertook an effort to answer the storm of public attention and delivered an equally distorted propaganda message to debunk the public concerns expressed by citizens of the European Union. See also the new website created as a response.
However, the agreement – while not being a SOPA cousin – has direct impact on the internet.
Commissioner De Gucht earlier responded to the European Parliament:
“ACTA will indeed impose obligations with respect to the internet because of its growing importance as a means of IPR infringement. The multilateral legal framework, and namely the TRIPs agreement, was negotiated before the expansion of the internet, and it therefore lacks the minimum standards to address such problems. It is important to have an international instrument setting out a framework for addressing this type of infringement in order to make sure that international partners have the same level of protection of IPRs that the EU currently applies, with all the due guarantees provided by its acquis. Since internet content flows freely across borders, a minimum set of internet enforcement rules will allow the EU right-holders to have their intellectual creations respected in third countries and, in the case of infringements, will equip them with legal measures to defend their assets.”
Unbearable lines are now cemented, for instance it is claimed by the Commission (as well as a few member states and the mediocre lobby support) the agreement…
- No changes: … would not require any changes to EU laws.
- Large scale: … was only directed at large-scale action
- Transparency: .. was negotiated as usual. The EU Commission was utmost transparent during the negotiations and informed Parliament.
- Balance: …”contains the necessary safeguards to allow the participating countries to strike an appropriate balance between all rights and interests involved”
- No forum shopping: …does not lead to “harmonisation through the backdoor”.
I doubt it would be possible to defend these lines.
The French citizen advocacy group La Quadrature denounces them as outright “lies”. I wonder why Commissioner De Gucht intervenes at all into public discourse, outreaches to parliament and makes a partisan argument. I doesn’t suit the dignity of the Commission well to argue, the Commission which did very little to resolve what she was actually asked for by Members of Parliament. The proactive partisan defense of the Commission reveals that the agreement is driven by mere administrative activism, not industry demand.