Unearthed a few days ahead of the next negotiation round, “The proposal stated in this document reveals how illegitimate and dangerous the whole ACTA process is, while exposing the scary position of the EU calling for more repression of non-for-profit usages — and their incitation”, says the post, going on >>>
The ninth round of negotiations1 of ACTA will begin in a few days in Luzern, Switzerland. A new leaked text, dated April 7th, proves that Member States, through the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, are negotiating the toughest parts of ACTA. The fact that the Presidency is negotiating along with the Commission 2 by itself shows that ACTA goes way beyond the scope of a regular trade agreement. Criminal sanctions (jail sentences!) being negotiated and not debated by elected representatives in democratic arenas, is more than shocking. Such a blatant denial of democracy justifies by itself a rejection of the whole ACTA process, whatever the agreed text might be.
But the content of the position pushed by the Member States of the EU is even more disturbing. The Presidency document states that “The Position of the Member States of the European Union is still under examination” with regard to article 2.14.1 that covers copyright or related rights infringements. As visible in the released ACTA text, some proposals for 2.14.1 explicitly plan to apply criminal sanctions to “infringements that have no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain”, and others give a definition of financial gain that include obtaining anything without paying3. The EU is clearly pushing for new criminal sanctions on counterfeiting and copyright infrigement that will also target non-commercial usages.
If criminal sanctions for non-for-profit transfers of data is included in the final version of article 2.14.1, criminal sanctions for “inciting, aiding and abetting” will automatically apply4. Consequences for freedom of expression and innovation on the Internet could be devastating.
“The ACTA agreement, by its opacity and undemocratic nature, allows criminal sanctions to be simply negotiated”, declares La Quadrature du Net spokesman Jérémie Zimmermann, adding:
“The leaked document shows that the EU Member States are willing to impose prison sanctions for non-commercial usages of copyrighted works on the Internet as well as for ‘inciting and aiding’, a notion so broad that it could cover any Internet service or speech questioning copyright policies. EU citizens should interrogate their governments about their support to policies that obviously attack freedom of speech, privacy and innovation. Around the next round of negotiations and beyond, ACTA should be restlessly combatted and opposed worldwide.”
Deeply flawed process
Yesterday, “More than 90 IP professors, European Union MPs and public interest groups from six continents have banded together to protest ACTA, created by the corporate entertainment industry and touted by the Obama administration”, said p2pnet.
“Their fears and concerns are powerfully highlighted in a communique released by American University’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property.
“ ‘We find that the terms of the publicly released draft of ACTA threaten numerous public interests, including every concern specifically disclaimed by negotiators’, it says, going on >>>
- Negotiators claim ACTA will not interfere with citizens’ fundamental rights and liberties; it will.
- They claim ACTA is consistent with the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); it is not.
- They claim ACTA will not increase border searches or interfere with cross-border transit of legitimate generic medicines; it will.
- And they claim that ACTA does not require “graduated response” disconnections of people from the internet; however, the agreement strongly encourages such policies.
“ACTA is the ‘predictably deficient product of a deeply flawed process’, says the paper. ‘What started as a relatively simple proposal to coordinate customs enforcement has transformed into a sweeping and complex new international intellectual property and internet regulation with grave consequences for the global economy and governments’ ability to promote and protect the public interest’.”
(Cheers, RW and others)
… and identi.ca
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