[Ip-health] De Gucht will address the INTA committee on ACTA
ante at ffii.org
Thu Jun 14 01:58:06 PDT 2012
De Gucht will address the INTA committee on ACTA
June 14, 2012
According to sources in the Parliament, Trade Commissioner De Gucht invited
himself to the Parliament’s International Trade committee (INTA). He will
address the committee just before the vote on ACTA.
The INTA committee will vote on ACTA on 21 June, at 10 am. De Gucht is
expected to call upon the committee to propose to Parliament to wait until the
European Court of Justice delivered its opinion on ACTA. The Court will
marginally test ACTA.
The Commission refused to commission independent impact assessments on the
effects ACTA may have on access to medicine and diffusion of green technology,
needed to fight climate change. The Commission only asked the Court an opinion
on ACTA and fundamental rights after tens of thousands protested in the
streets of Europe.
In public, the Commission states that ACTA is in line with current EU law. A
leaked internal document shows the Commission knew all the time that statement
is not true.
A full political assessment is necessary, not just a marginal test. The
Parliament should not wait for the Court. Nor should the Parliament trust non-
binding Commission reassurances.
Today the FFII sent a letter to the INTA committee:
ACTA: Extraterritorial privatized enforcement will harm European companies and
Dear Members of the International Trade committee,
We are writing to express our concerns with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade
Agreement (ACTA). ACTA lacks an analysis of extraterritorial privatized
Many US Internet companies operate on a global scale and apply US law extra-
territorially, on EU companies and citizens. This is a disturbing trend. ACTA
adds an obligation on the US to stimulate cooperative efforts within the
globally operating US business community. The US – and other ACTA parties –
can use this to harm EU competition and citizens. The business community is
not interested in guaranteeing fair competition. Extraterritorial criminal
measures are also a grave concern.
Because of the complexity of intellectual property rights legislation,
innovative businesses are often forced to operate in a legal “grey zone”. This
will make EU companies and their customers vulnerable to foreign
extraterritorial measures. The European Convention on Human Rights and the EU
Charter of Fundamental Rights do not protect EU companies and citizens against
foreign extraterritorial measures.
ACTA’s civil measures will have a chilling effect on innovative companies.
ACTA introduces damages based on retail price, they may turn out extremely
high. ACTA contains intrusive injunctions and provisional measures, including
against third parties, like software suppliers. Companies must become more
risk adverse, even when the activity they are engaged in may ultimately be
legal. Further pressure on companies and citizens comes from ACTA’s criminal
measures against everyday computer use, including against “aiding” and
ACTA will foreclose future legislative improvements in response to changes in
technology or policy. EU law is relatively new and under review, the Union
should retain much needed policy space.
ACTA will have anti-competitive effects stretching beyond the markets it seeks
to regulate. It will create an environment where large competitors will have
major advantages over smaller firms and start-ups, even extra-territorially.
ACTA will have a chilling effect on innovation, start up companies, Internet
service providers and mass digitization projects.
We urge you to reject ACTA.
The Parliament should not wait for the Court’s decision. The Court will only
test ACTA marginally. A full political assessment is necessary. Nor should the
Parliament trust non-binding Commission reassurances.
Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII)
Committee homepage, stream will be published here | Documents: draft agenda
and ACTA documents (point 18), including consolidated committee opinions |
FFII on INTA amendments
More information about the Ip-health