[Ip-health] De Gucht will address the INTA committee on ACTA

Ante ante at ffii.org
Thu Jun 14 01:58:06 PDT 2012

De Gucht will address the INTA committee on ACTA
with links

June 14, 2012
By Ante

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.

Yours sincerely,

Ante Wessels

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 mailing list