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Old 21-06-12, 20:56   #1
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Default Acta set to fail after Europe's trade committee votes against it

Vote may herald the first time the European Parliament has written off an international agreement since 2008

European lawmakers rejected the global Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta) on Thursday, signalling that the European Parliament may soon use new-found rights to derail an international agreement for the first time.

"This vote is the penultimate nail in Acta's coffin," Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German Green politician in the legislature said, after the European Parliament's International Trade Committee (Inta) recommended 19-12 that the European Parliament reject the treaty in its upcoming vote on 4 July.

The decision was the fifth European committee in a row to recommend against Acta.

The Acta deal, in the pipeline since 2008, aims to reduce intellectual property theft by cracking down on fake consumer goods and medicines and digital file-sharing of pirated software and music.

The European Commission has said the agreement would target large-scale operations which enable illegal digital file-sharing, but the move sparked protests from citizens and also from some governments, who said it would criminalise people downloading files for personal use.

It also triggered the resignation in January of Kader Arif, a French MEP, from his role as the lead negotiator for the EU on Acta: he complained that it could cut access to lifesaving generic drugs, and would restrict internet freedom.

Arif told the Guardian in February that the only remaining options were to accept or reject the treaty, because no further change to the text was then possible.

A handful of EU countries, including Germany, have held off signing the agreement while others have expressed concerns about its impact on their citizens. The US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan are among countries which have signed Acta, but none has yet ratified it in national legislation. A number of countries, including India and some African nations, have been uneasy about the implications of Acta's effect on shipments of generic pharmaceuticals which have the same structure and action as branded versions to their countries.

Lawmakers said the cross-party vote is a signal the legislature will reject the Acta in a final vote, the first time the European Parliament has written off an international agreement since an increase in its powers in 2008.

"This is about much more than just Acta. It's about the European Parliament acting as an independent and democratic institution," said Joe McNamee from the European Digital Rights lobby, EDRi.

Peter Bradwell, of Open Rights Group, said: "MEPs have listened to the many, many thousands of people across Europe who have consistently demanded that this flawed treaty is kicked out. This is the fifth consecutive committee to say Acta should be rejected. It now falls to the vote of the whole European Parliament in July to slam the door on Acta once and for all, and bring this sorry mess to an end."

The 31-member trade committee in the European Parliament agreed that the proposed agreement risked criminalising individuals who download files like music or films from illegal torrent websites.

The European Commission, which negotiated the deal on behalf of the EU, has asked the highest European Union court to decide if Acta infringes people's privacy. A ruling could take up to a year.

"By recommending the rejection of Acta, the INTA committee today has said yes to democracy and fundamental rights", said Raegan MacDonald, senior policy analyst at the US pressure group Access. "This is a crucial step forward in this long fight, and now we're closer than ever to burying this agreement once and for all."

He added: "The movement against Acta has been a defining moment for the future of the open and universal internet. We're very excited about today's decision, but it's not over yet. Access will continue to work up until the very last hour until there is no more Acta left."
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Old 22-06-12, 02:18   #2
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Default Re: Acta set to fail after Europe's trade committee votes against it

The IP industries are beside themselves as they see this passing without being enacted into law. They've pushed very hard to have it, broken all sorts of countries transparency laws, refused to have public participation, and then wonder why everyone got upset about it. Face it, what killed ACTA was when it was finally let out of the bag and people learned what it was really going to do to the internet. I suggest that all of that could have been avoided by being transparent to begin with. Of course the reason it was not was because all the vested players were planning this huge 'capture the internet' move.

You would think at this stage that maybe they would have learned that the claim that trade treaties be covered in secret would have sunk in that it doesn't work. Unfortunately if you thought that, you're wrong. Following in it's footsteps comes TPP with all the wishlist that was forgotten or they had hoped to put into ACTA and didn't make it.

This to is being held in high secrecy, despite the demands of Sen. Wyden who happens to be on the Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness. as senior senator. He can't get any real data from Ron Kirk, The United States Trade Representative, which is part of what he's supposed to oversee. Ron wants to claim TPP has never been more transparent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Kirk
USTR has conducted the most active outreach to all stakeholders relative to the TPP than in any [free trade agreement] previously”
The problem here is the transparency doesn't mean talking with vested interests, it means disclosure of what is being discussed, a transfer of information, given by Ron, not to vested interests, but to the overseeing committee for which Ron Kirk is responsible to in order to have the authority to speak for the US.

In all this, it means nothing. Mainly because the third largest economy in the world wasn't included in the negotiations and isn't likely to sign the agreement; namely China.
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Old 23-06-12, 03:36   #3
 
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Default Re: Acta set to fail after Europe's trade committee votes against it

Thanks Al, a contradiction "in terms", it seems,by the latest news today;

http://www.dreamteamdownloads1.com/piracy-warez-hackers-internet-news-scams-related/218267-europarliament-committee-rejects-acta.html
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