[A2k] Will the EP Development committee betray billions of people?
ante at ffii.org
Thu Jan 19 08:03:30 PST 2012
Will the EP Development committee betray billions of people?
January 19, 2012
Tuesday 24 January 2012, around 16.30 CET, the European Parliament Committee
on Development will hold an exchange of views on ACTA. The Committee’s draft
opinion is available here.
I think it is a disgusting draft, a scandal. All the lies the Commission has
been spreading are incorporated.
Regarding compatibility with current EU law, the acquis, see our FFII note on
the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA. Only by consistently overlooking known
issues it is possible to claim that ACTA is compatible with current EU
Many civil society groups, among others Oxfam and Public Citizen, and an
academic opinion pointed out problems with access to medicine.
But the draft opinion “appreciates the unequivocal language of ACTA provisions
which safeguard access to public health and recognise the principles enshrined
in the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health.” – while the
Doha Declaration is mentioned only once in ACTA’s non binding preamble.
The draft report does not mention the global pricing problem. Not only
medicines are often sold for the same prices in developing countries as in the
US and the EU. The same is true for CDs and DVDs. Relative to local incomes in
Brazil, Russia, or South Africa, the price of a CD, DVD, or copy of Microsoft
Office is five to ten times higher than in the United States or Europe, the Media
Piracy in Emerging Economies report shows. There is no distribution of legal
CDs and DVDs outside the capitals. Some 90% of the people in emerging
economies can only turn to illegal media copies. Stronger enforcement can not
solve the piracy problem, which is basically a global pricing problem, a sign
of market failure.
We all know pictures of big piles of illegal CDs to be destroyed by a
bulldozer. We may think: finally country X takes action against piracy. The
real story behind these pictures is that these illegal copies are the only way
90% of the people in emerging economies can enjoy software, music and movies.
The costs in social welfare of harsh measures are enormous.
ACTA will negatively impact innovation, start up companies, mass digitization
projects, access to medicines and Internet governance. ACTA threatens the rule
of law and fundamental rights.
But the Development Committee’s rapporteur rather denies all problems. Will
Europe betray billions of people?
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