Tuesday, 24 January 2012

ACTA in European Parliament committees: Legal Affairs (JURI)

After the roundup of ACTA blog posts in Finnish, Swedish or English on Grahnlaw Suomi Finland, IPR trade protection: ACTA controversy, I have published two recent updates about the agreement in the European Union:

Grahnlaw (EN): ACTA update (in part) (22 January 2012)

Grahnlaw (EN): ACTA in European Parliament committees: International Trade and Development (23 January 2012)

The Development Committee (DEVE) draft opinion by Jan Zahradil enthusiastically brushed aside all doubts regarding the anti-counterfeiting agreement.

Is it really this simple? Yesterday I found two new items to update my blog post. For your convenience, here they are again, with slight modifications:

La Quadrature du Net sees ACTA as the international counterpart of the SOPA and PIPA copyright bills in the USA. La Quadrature blogged about ACTA in the European Parliament both in English and in French.

European Digital Rights (EDRi) published a critical paragraph-by-paragraph assessment of what must be the DEVE committee draft opinion regarding ACTA.

Even if you do not buy the counter-arguments lock, stock and barrel, there are enough questions and references to merit serious thought.


JURI

The Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) is preparing an opinion for the committee responsible in the European Parliament, the Committee on International Trade (INTA), which offered us the timetable. If we look at the JURI minutes 19-20 December 2011, we find the following:

24. Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement between the EU and its Member States, Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the USA

JURI/7/06357
*** 2011/0167(NLE) COM(2011)0380

The following spoke: Marielle Gallo (rapporteur), Christian Engström, Alexandra Thein, Eva Lichtenberger, Antonio Caiola (Parliament Legal Service)

There is nothing specific about ACTA on the JURI draft agenda 25 and 26 January 2012.


Marielle Gallo MEP

Somehow the JURI committee, too, has managed to select a gung ho rapporteur. Marielle Gallo MEP is known for her unwavering support for holders of intellectual property rights.

The IP Policy Committee blog offers a background picture about the rapporteur in the previous committee discussion, as well as the legal and political doubts expressed by other participants: Shoving ACTA down the throat of the European Parliament.

There is a Spanish version of the article, published by the Asociación de internautas: Haciendo tragar con el ACTA al Parlamento Europeo.

Erich Moechel, on FM4 ORF.at, discussed the proposals of Marielle Gallo with regard to the customs enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR): ACTA wirft seine Schatten voraus.

Christian Engström, the Green (Pirate) MEP, wants the European Union Court of Justice (EUCJ) to scrutinise if ACTA is compatible with fundamental rights. He has blogged about the JURI discussion, as well as on several previous occasions about the anti-counterfeiting agreement both Swedish and English.

When Futurezone.at discusses the imminent signing of ACTA by Austria, the worries of internet service providers (ISPs) are highlighted, and these concerns are shared by the Green MEP Eva Lichtenberger.

***

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) remains controversial, but the two rapporteurs we have looked at this far seem to be on auto-pilot to bulldoze through the agreement.




Ralf Grahn