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Archive for the ‘ACTA’ Category

Michael Geist broke the story:

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.

and added further remarks today

FFII’s Ante Wessels comments

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.

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Internet Society raises concerns about the upcoming Transatlantic Pacific Partnership:

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.

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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.

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Endspiel ACTA

ACTA moves closer to the plenary. Next week the Trade committee (INTA) of the Parliament would take its decision. Commissioner Karel De Gucht invited himself to the meeting, what is tried now is delaying the Parliament vote. MEP Moreira mocked that since De Gucht has to come whenever INTA calls, he also enjoys the right to appear when he desires. Commissioner De Gucht would appear before INTA on Thursday 21 June at 10h (Room 4 Q 1), just before the crucial vote.

Supported is the Commissioner by the British conservatives. MEP Kamall tabled an amendment to this end. The time-winning Amendment 3 would be in focus for the upcoming debate while other MEPs pressure to get the awkward dossier off the table. Two other amendments, by Quisthoudt-Rowohl (EPP) and Fjellner (EPP) change the recommendation to “Consents to conclusion of the agreement”, but that is an unlikely outcome given the votes of the assisting Committees.

Many of my colleagues would be in Brussels. I’ll also be around Brussels but for other reasons.

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May2 2012 Université Libre de Bruxelles part1

– Benoit Hellings — Ancien sénateur écolo
– Olivier Maeterlinck – Directeur de la « Belgian Entertainment Association »
– Philippe Aigrain – Co-fondateur de l’association citoyenne « La Quadrature du Net »
– Pedro Velasco Martins — Négociateur du traité ACTA pour la Commission Européenne (DG Trade)
 

part 2

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CEFIC, the association of chemical industry provides input to the industry committee ITRE of the European Parliament.

making a world of difference
European Chemical Industry Council – Cefic aisbl
Avenue E. van Nieuwenhuyse 4 B – 1160 Brussels Belgium Tel: +32 2 676 72 11 Fax: +32 2 676 73 01 mail@cefic.be http://www.cefic.org
To the members of the ITRE Committee
of the European Parliament
60, rue Wiertz
B-1047 Brussel

22 May 2012
ACTA & the European Chemical industry
The Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was negotiated by 37 countries and the European Union to improve the international framework for fighting counterfeiting and piracy and the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.
Intellectual Property is of strategic importance for the competitiveness of the science–based and high technology chemicals industry, large enterprises and SMEs, to reward innovation. Many sectors of the chemical industry are hit by counterfeiting.
Therefore, the European chemical industry not only supports effective protection of Intellectual Property Rights such as patents but also strong measures to fight against counterfeiting both in the European Union and elsewhere in the world.
Considering the debate in the European Parliament on ACTA, the European Commission has asked the EU Court of Justice for opinion to provide clarity on concerns expressed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of European citizens.
We welcome this initiative and consider that any decision adopted before such opinion will put at risk the legal principles of Intellectual Property in Europe.
We therefore propose to the Members of the ITRE Committee of the European Parliament to wait for the opinion of the Court before voting on ACTA.
For further information do not hesitate to contact Nicole L Maréchal at ++ 32 2 676 72 18 or
nma@cefic.be

Best regards,

Assessment

The chemical industry was less attached to the ACTA process so far, less vocal and visible. Now they raise their voice in support of the agreement. Unfortunately the letter falls short on arguments. It basically says X is a tool against Y. Y is a problem for us, please support X.

That is far too simple to be useful for MEPs. Just insert substitute X for rain dance, Y for drought.

And then there is a weak argument of signalling: “We welcome this initiative and consider that any decision adopted before such opinion will put at risk the legal principles of Intellectual Property in Europe.”

Which principles and how? Don’t forget we’re told it doesn’t change anything.

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The JURI Committee of the European Parliament is dissatisfied with the Commission’s communication policy on ACTA. Letter from the Legal Affairs Committee chairman K.H. Lehne (EPP, Germany) to Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht:

Committee on Legal Affairs
The Chairman

ref. D(2012)23568
307728 03.05.2012

Mr Karel De Gucht
Commissioner for Trade
European Commission
Rue de la Loi, 200
B-1049 BRUXELLES

Dear Mr De Gucht,

As the parliamentary committee responsible for intellectual property law, the Committee on Legal Affairs is preparing to adopt an opinion for the Committee on International Trade whose task it is to recommend to the Plenary whether or not to consent to the conclusion of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Korea, the United States of America, Japan, the Kingdom of Morocco, the United Mexican States, New Zealand, the Republic of Singapore and the Swiss Confederation (ACTA).

As you know, on 22 February 2012 the Commission announced that the College of Commissioners had decided to refer a question to the Court of Justice on the compatibility of ACTA with the Treaties and with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. After this, nothing more was forthcoming until 4 April 2012 when the College agreed on the wording of the question. To date, as far as we know, no question has been referred. The Commission has not informed the Parliament of the reasons for such delay or when we can expect the question to be transmitted to the Court.

The Committee on Legal Affairs cannot but manifest its profound dissatisfaction about the way in which the Commission has handled this matter. To be able to reach a fully informed decision the Committee on Legal Affairs would urge you to answer the following questions:

Why after so many years of negotiations has the Commission decided only now to refer a question to the Court of Justice? Why not before?

– When the College of Commissioners took the decision to refer the matter to the Court you received a mandate to “explore the possibility of joint action with the other institutions in this area”. Why have you not formally asked the Parliament about this possibility?

– The European Data Protection Supervisor issued an opinion on 24 April 2012 which raises specific and very worrying concerns about several provisions of ACTA. Could we please have your reaction to these concerns as summarized in points 67 to 71 of the opinion?

I would like to stress that the Committee on Legal Affairs will be voting about this matter at the end of May. In order to be able to fully take into account your answers to the questions above, it is essential that the Committee receives your answers as soon as possible.

I thank you for your cooperation and look forward to hear from you well in advance of the Committee meeting at the end of May.

Yours sincerely,

Klaus-Heiner Lehne

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