Sunday 8 July 2012

ACTA - the saga continues

As was recently reported, it came as no big surprise that the European Parliament rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. However, according to Canadian academic Michael Geist, in addition to referring the question of ACTA's compatibility with fundamental rights to the CJEU, there are also plans to use the Canada - EU Trade Agreement (CETA) to implement ACTA.

CETA is a free trade agreement currently in the final stages of negotiation. It aims to eliminate most tariffs between Canada and the EU in addition to changing non-trade related government policies that affect business profits, including differences in intellectual property laws.
The intellectual property chapter of CETA apparently directly reproduces ACTA, and many of ACTA's enforcement provisions will also be included in CETA. It is also possible that the criminal enforcement and co-operation provisions found in ACTA could find their way into CETA. The idea seems to be that once CETA is agreed there will be an argument that ACTA should be passed as the principles in ACTA which have proved so unpopular will already have been approved.

Michael Geist has said that "The backdoor ACTA approach creates enormous risks for Canada's trade ambitions. Given the huge anti-ACTA movement, the Canada – EU trade deal could face widespread European opposition with CETA becoming swept up in similar protests."

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