Monday, 6 February 2012

ACTA: 1.717 million ”misinformed” citizens to ignore

I was reminded by @alexanderhanff on Twitter that the EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht asked members of the European Parliament to disregard public opposition to ACTA (Infojustice). In my view De Gucht's attitude (letter at La Quadrature du Net) is enough to deserve rejection of the Anti-Counterfeiting (and much more) Trade Agreement ACTA (Grahnlaw).

Despite the Commission's efforts [by now legendary] to ”provide all the relevant facts”, according to De Gucht ”the action they take is based on misinformation, or possibly even worse, on wilful misinterpretation of the content of the agreement. This is all the more striking given the fact that ACTA does not change existing EU rules in this area” (letter at La Quadrature du Net).

A few moments ago, there were 1.717 million of these ”misinformed” or ”wilfully misrepresenting” citizens for the MEPs to ignore, as documented by the number of signatures on the Avaaz petition to the European Parliament (and the national parliaments) to reject ACTA.

Admittedly, many citizens are only now awakening to how far EU and national legislation has already incorporated the views of IPR rightholders and to the promised ACTA blessings of ”state-of-the-art provisions on the enforcement of IPR, including provisions on civil, criminal, border and digital environment enforcement measures, robust cooperation mechanisms among ACTA Parties to assist in their enforcement efforts, and the establishment of best practices for effective IPR enforcement” (ACTA proposal).

Civil society is just telling the politicians that voters want an end to IPR fundamentalism and a new start based on equitable rules.

Ralf Grahn

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