Saturday 5 May 2012

Neelie says ACTA is doomed

Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda has said that the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) , signed by almost all EU member states – but not all – is likely to follow the US’s SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) into the dustbin of failed legislation saying “We have recently seen how many thousands of people are willing to protest against rules which they see as constraining the openness and innovation of the internet” adding “there is a strong new political  voice, and as a voice for openness, I welcome it even if I do not always agree with everything it says on every subject … we are now likely to be in a world without SOPA and ACTA”. ACTA is currently awaiting review by the Court of Justice and EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht had urged the EU Parliament to delay any formal ratification of ACTA until that happened, but it now looks like the whole process has stalled as member states (even those who had previously signed up) lose the political will to move the Agreement forward.

In the USA,critics of the U.S. government's antipiracy efforts have new ammunition to support claims that authorities are too eager to do the bidding of copyright owners. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE) seized, a music blog, in November 2010 and then held onto it for more than a year before returning the domain to the owners having repeatedly failed to produce evidence that the site had violated copyright laws. Now the EFF has picked up on the story blogging "The whole story is, in a word, appalling …. U.S. taxpayers and their representatives have an object lesson, if one were needed, in why the government should not be granted new IP enforcement powers and why we need to reconsider the inclusion of copyright infringement as a basis for civil seizure and forfeiture."

1 comment:

Paul Edward Geller said...

What if ACTA were to rubber stamp practices that were already in effect? Notably, per its Art. 36(11) (1 Oct. 2011 draft), coordinating criminal enforcement across borders? Why not revise the treaty to make these procedures more transparent? Squelching the treaty merely drives the snake back into the grass.