New EU ACTA reviewer also recommends not signing it, calls ACTA a threat to civil liberties

ACTA is the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, an extreme, far-reaching copyright treaty drafted in secret by industry and government trade reps, under a seal of confidentiality that even extended to Members of the European Parliament, who were not allowed to see what was being negotiated on their behalf. In February, the EU rapporteur (a member of the European Parliament charged with investigating pending legislation and presenting it to Parliament) for ACTA handed in his report and resigned as rapporteur, concluding that the treaty was a disaster for privacy, fairness and human rights, and that the process by which it had been negotiated was hopelessly corrupt. He recommended that the EU reject the treaty. He said, "I condemn the whole process which led to the signature of this agreement: no consultation of the civil society, lack of transparency since the beginning of negotiations, repeated delays of the signature of the text without any explanation given, reject of Parliament's recommendations as given in several resolutions of our assembly."

Now, a few weeks later, David Martin, the new ACTA rapporteur has echoed those earlier recommendations, again telling the EP to reject ACTA, saying "The intended benefits of this international agreement are far outweighed by the potential threats to civil liberties." Here is the conclusion from Mr Martin's report (PDF):

Unintended consequences of the ACTA text is a serious concern. On individual criminalisation, the definition of “commercial-scale”, the role of internet service providers and the possible interruption of the transit of generic medicines, your rapporteur maintains doubts that the ACTA text is as precise as is necessary.

The intended benefits of this international agreement are far outweighed by the potential threats to civil liberties. Given the vagueness of certain aspects of the text and the uncertainty over its interpretation, the European Parliament cannot guarantee adequate protection for citizens' rights in the future under ACTA.

Your rapporteur therefore recommends that the European Parliament declines to give consent to ACTA. In doing so, it is important to note that increased IP rights protection for European producers trading in the global marketplace is of high importance. Following the expected revision of relevant EU directives, your rapporteur hopes the European Commission will therefore come forward with new proposals for protecting IP.

Euro MP David Martin dismisses anti-counterfeiting treaty (Thanks, TRW!)

(Image: Acta of the death #stopacta, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from tangi_bertin's photostream)



  1. What would be nice now would be if the European Parliament did a complete investigation into the whole affair: who promised what to whom, to ascertain how the “people’s” representatives were corrupted into swallowing this pig. Then, any company or organization who made any promises of future reward to a public official, or gave anything of value, should be prevented from ever doing any business in Europe, ever again.

    In short, treat the whole affair like the criminal matter it most likely is. All that’s needed is one whistleblower. . . 

    1. Indeed. ACTA is

      Corruption of public officials.

      Subversion of legislative process and public policy.

      Subversion of democracy and public representation in lawmaking.

      Active curtailing of civil rights.

      Fraud to the detriment of private parties and the public at large.

      Framing and wrongful incrimination of private parties and public at large.

      Are we going to let these… coupsters and gangsters get away again?

  2. The best thing is that if the EU pisses on ACTA, perhaps they’ll be more inclined to provide some support for the oppressed residents of the United States when we cry for help to implement a regime change.

      1.  We have to get the help from somewhere.

        Love your country, but never trust its government.
        — Robert A. Heinlein.

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