Last week the European Parliament's influential International Trade Committee recommended that members of the Parliament vote against adopting the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) but the recommendation has prompted an angry backlash from trade groups representing the content industries including the record labels international body the IFPI who said in statement "The recommendation by the European Parliament's International Trade Committee that the Parliament should reject ACTA is a disappointment to Europe's creative, innovative and manufacturing sectors, which employ over 120 million people across Europe and depend on intellectual property to support and grow their businesses" and added "More than 130 organisations representing the breadth of European industry have urged the European Parliament to wait for the opinion of the Court Of Justice of the European Union before taking a final decision on the treaty. A vote to follow the INTA recommendation and to reject ACTA now would be to ignore the voices of industry, unions, employees, the Commission, the Council and Member States. ACTA should be given careful and responsible consideration before a decision that will have significant effects on the EU's trade relationships and economy". Nineteen MEPs on the Trade Committee voted against adopting ACTA, with twelve in favour.
Elsewhere, Wikipedia founder James (Jimmy) Wales has come out in support of Richard O'Dwer, the 24 year old multimedia student at Sheffield Hallam University who set up TVshack.net, making some £140,000 in the process, and who is now facing extradition from the UK to the USA on copyright infringement charges. Wales has said O'Dwyer is the "human face" of the global battle over the interests of the film, TV and movie industries and the wider public, which led to the public outcry over the proposed PIPA and SOPA (the USA's Protect Intellectual Property and the Stop Online Piracy Acts). The Guardian has a front page story and has dedicated two pages to O'Dwyer's battle in today's newspaper which can be found here (Knock on the door that could lead to 10 years in US jail for film fan).
I received an email comment which is worth repeating - "the smoking gun is in the small print - O'Dwyer faces extradition and a potential sentence of up to 10 years simply for letting people in the UK find somewhere to watch Iron Man 2 BEFORE ITS RELEASE. "
It's very curious that O'Dwyer can face extradition for allegations of something -- contributory infringement -- which would appear not to be a criminal offence, neither in the UK nor the USA.
Can any of the 1709ers explain?
A commentary from anti-ACTA group EDRi on the pro-ACTA lobbying:
Anyone who thinks the European Parliament has been giving ACTA anything less than "careful and responsible consideration" can't have been paying much attention:
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