Working together to create a better internet for children
15th November 2012, The Renaissance Hotel, Brussels
According to recently leaked documents, the EU plans to use the Canada – EU Trade Agreement (CETA), which is nearing its final stages of negotiation, as a backdoor mechanism to implement the ACTA provisions.
The EU – Canada trade agreement (CETA) contains the same draconian civil and criminal measures as ACTA, see [Canadian law professor] Michael Geist. He recommends: “With anti-ACTA sentiment spreading across Europe, Canada should push to remove the intellectual property chapter from CETA altogether.” I agree completely: trade agreements and IP regulations have to be disentangled.
The European Treaties, however, provide for this loophole which was created for the WTO TRIPs agreement. I agree with Ante Wessels that the Article 207 process should not be used for bypassing national and European legislators. While the European Parliament disagreed with the adoption of measures in ACTA, De Gucht’s administration has other bilateral agreements in the pipeline to the same ends. They deserve the watchful eyes of concerned parties.
The February negotiations document shows the broadness of provisions and the greater degree of explicit legislative interventions compared to ACTA.
I would recommend the European Parliament to reach an inter-institutional agreement with the Commission how to proceed in the Article 207 process with a view to preserve the legislative prerogatives of Parliament.
As no documents have been officially made public, the Internet Society cannot express, at this point, an opinion on the Agreement’s substantive provisions. However, since preliminary reports indicate that the TPPA also seeks to address issues related to the Internet, the Internet Society calls for an open and inclusive process in line with the principles adopted by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) recognizing that public issues pertaining to the Internet should be addressed in an open, inclusive and participatory process. Also, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) adopted principles for Internet policy-making, which similarly call for multistakeholder cooperation. [..]
The Internet Society believes that the overall level of transparency surrounding the TPPA negotiations should be more robust. Deciding how to appropriately address intellectual property rights (IPR) in an online environment is a relevant issue for many stakeholders, not just governments. We believe that the combined insight and experience of all Internet Governance stakeholders can provide adequate and well-balanced solutions to some of the issues the TPPA seeks to address. The Internet Society would be happy to contribute to the ongoing TPPA policy discussions.
Rapporteur David Martin:
“Never in history did a [European] Commission proposal only get 39 votes,”
Jonas (FFII) does not agree: But a Commission proposal did get only 14 votes in the past
“The European Parliament today decided by a large majority (729 members (of which 689 signed that day’s attendance register), 680 votes, 648 in favour, 14 against, 18 abstaining [*]) to reject the directive “on the patentability of computer implemented inventions”, also known as the software patent directive.”
Both cases shows the pattern how citizen awareness and active involvement of civil society may cause pivotal decisions.