[A2k] EU study advocates a European Criminal Court
ante at ffii.org
Tue Feb 8 01:24:54 PST 2011
[ ACTA / Economy / Innovation ]
EU study advocates a European Criminal Court
Brussels, 8 February 2011 -- A study commissioned by the European Commission
advocates the abolition of the national prosecutor's discretion whether to
prosecute and how to charge the defendant. It also argues in favor of a
European criminal court and for the criminalisation of patent infringements.
The main question the EU study had to answer is whether EU criminal measures
aimed at ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights are
essential. The EU is only competent to adopt criminal measures if the criminal
measures have been proven "essential".
The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) observes that the
study fails to prove EU criminal measures aimed at ensuring the enforcement of
intellectual property rights are needed. Incidentally, this also indicates
that the EU is not competent to ratify the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade
Agreement's criminal measures.
The EU study reports a "general understanding that the problems caused by
transnational crimes create a strong need for harmonization of the criminal
laws of the EU member states."
The FFII comments that a general understanding is no proof, and points to the
strong averse reaction by the Dutch Parliament to an earlier EU enforcement
law proposal to show that the purported "general understanding" doesn't even
exist. The study does not address the Dutch Parliament's objections, nor even
FFII analyst Ante Wessels: "Without addressing counter arguments, without
proof criminal measures are essential, the study attacks core aspects of
national sovereignty: prosecutors' discretion and national criminal courts."
The EU study advocates criminalisation of patent infringements.
Criminalisation of patent infringements is highly controversial. Patent
infringements are not a crime in the United States. The European Parliament
removed patents from the scope of an earlier EU enforcement law proposal. The
Council explicitly excluded it from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement's
Ante Wessels: "Patents have unclear validity and scope. It is often unclear
whether one violates a patent. In the software sector, there are so many
patents, infringement is often unavoidable. Criminal measures against patent
infringements give competitors and patent trolls undue powers - especially if
there is no national prosecutor's discretion whether to prosecute. Would we
like to see Steve Jobs behind bars? Or Doctors Without Borders?"
For more information, see the FFII analysis of the EU study:
Study on a possible modified proposal on criminal measures aimed at ensuring
the enforcement of intellectual property rights:
We received a scan of a paper version, containing the Questionnaire, document
18259/10 in French and the study. The 6.3 MB questionnaire.tif is the
original file, the 48 MB questionnaire.pdf may be more easy to use, the 2.5 MB
EU-study.pdf only contains the study.
FFII analysis ACTA's criminal measures:
General FFII ACTA analysis:
Permanent link to this press release:
ante (at) ffii.org
+31 6 100 99 063
FFII Office Berlin
Malmöer Str. 6
Fax Service: +49-721-509663769
Email: office (at) ffii.org
The FFII is a not-for-profit association active in twenty European countries,
dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, based
on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 1000 members, 3,500
companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice
in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property)
in data processing.
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