Big News: Germany Says It Won't Sign ACTA [Update: ... Yet]

from the wowsers dept

Okay, things just got serious over ACTA. In our post on Latvia bailing on signing ACTA, we noted that in joining with Poland and the Czech Republic, these were still much smaller European states, and unlikely to have too much of an impact. But... now comes the really surprising news that Germany has decided that it won't sign. Germany, of course, is the largest EU economy. Details are sparse, but even though the country had earlier agreed that it would sign it, the Foreign Office has apparently revoked that decision and will not sign the agreement... We'll update more later as more details come in. However, this is big news and could really stop ACTA. Update: Another source on this suggests that Germany is saying that it is putting its plan to sign on hold, but may sign later. It had intended to sign soon, but is now going to wait until the EU Parliament decides how it wants to go. So they haven't dropped ACTA entirely, but this definitely shows that the protests are worrying politicians.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    pierre-marie coedès, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 5:31am

    NO TO ACTA

    Thanks

     

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  2.  
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    DannyB (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 5:39am

    The wheel is turning

    The lawless wild west days of pushing bad legislation and treaties through the US and foreign governments is coming to an end.

    (to parphrase a dinosaur)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    donaupiratin, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 5:42am

    ACTA

    Germany won't sign YET. I hope that despite this news, there will still be thousands of people on the streets against Acta tomorrow.

     

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  4.  
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    Squig (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 6:17am

    Over here we (activists) mainly see it as a way to discredit the demonstrations tomorrow without doing much harm to the actual implementation of the agreement. We hope also that it backfires (because it very well may).

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 6:18am

    Germany is full of pirates!

    That's the only reason they wouldn't sign. Oh yea, and Google Paywall. And hurting US jobs.

    amidoinitrite?


    (but seriously, if they stick by this, this is a HUGE win....for now)

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 6:30am

    Good, it's about time politicians start listening to the people instead of the big corporations like the RIAA/MPAA/etc that own all the copyrights.

    Maybe politicians finally noticed there's a Pirate Party, but no Copyright or Patent or Intellectual Property party. Kind of says which sides their citizens are on, doesn't it.

     

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  7.  
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    btrussell (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 6:32am

    Germany already has an auto-ban. No need for more.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 6:57am

    It's possible that it's just a move to dodge the upcoming demonstrations, but I doubt it's a wise move then. The German Foreign Office doesn't make it a habit to be like "sign that shit now...oh wait... DON'T sign that shit now!". Everyone who wasn't yet fully convinced that there is a problem with ACTA will take a closer look after they saw the European powerhouse waffling like this.

     

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  9.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 7:00am

    So basically Germany has decided to delay signing it until the protests have died down.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 7:10am

    Re:

    More like, Germany wants to pass the buck to the EU parliament. What if they sign it and then the EU doesn't? It would be a folly to put up with all that political damage for nothing.

     

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  11.  
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    Mr. Oizo, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 7:21am

    What is said in the linked article is that the justice department wants to 'wait and see', which is a typical non-statement. So they probably want to sign but don't want to say that.

     

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  12.  
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    Vik1ng (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 7:23am

    Re:

    I doubt that the protests will really stop. Both the Pirate Party and the Green Party are against this as well as young members among other parties. So it's not very likely that they will just sign it in silence a few weeks later.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 7:36am

    Re: Germany is full of pirates!

    Considering the recent successes of the German Pirate Party, that does seem to be the case.

     

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  14.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Re: ACTA

    I am very good at forecasting future occurrences and trends. It is one of the things I do for a living. The problem for the Germany government is, if they sign ACTA they will effectively double the number of people voting pirate party next time around. The same goes for every nation in Europe that has a pirate party.

     

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  15.  
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    Squig (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 9:04am

    But it'Äs a big differnce if you compare the different PPs. In Germany you'd double them to 16%, in the Uk to 2%...

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    Re: ACTA

    u bet ur butt

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    isaac Kotlicky (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 10:39am

    Speechless...

    I'm left without a humorous, possibly snarky comment to make...

    *slow claps* Go team!

    Even if this is just "passing the buck" to the EU, everyone faltering on it because they're afraid of public backlash will push ACTA to die.

    Wandering alone.
    A vagrant with no citizenship, no land to claim as his own.
    Pity him, feel his pain, his uncertainty.
    Poor, destitute, and downtrodden, he'll wander the blighted, war-stricken landscape, searching for news of his family.
    But his parents SOPA and PIPA have already died in the war, and he hasn't heard from his brother TPP for months.

    There. Found my sarc.

     

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  18.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: ACTA

    For those of us on this side of the pond it's important to remember that the Federal German Republic elects it's representatives by a form of proportional representation. As Hephaestus says if Germany signs ACTA and it doubles the vote for the Pirate Party and increases support for the Greens, who already oppose ACTA the shift in parliamentary representation would be far larger than it would be in first past the post systems such as the United States, Canada or the UK.
    If it's a doubling of support then the effect on the "old line" parties would be immense.
    This may be one of the reasons the Germans are holding off.

     

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  19.  
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    wvhillbilly (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Re:

    "sign that shit now...oh wait... DON'T sign that shit now!".

    No they'll wait till they think nobody's watching, then they'll convene only those in favor of it and do it in secret.

    Gotta watch these politicians, they're sneaky.

     

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  20.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    Re: Speechless...

    Sometimes you just gotta dig a bit. The sarc seed grow quickly when they're tended for and sought out!

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Frank, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:36am

    Waiting for the summer

    With all the protests going on and in planning, the German government might have decided to wait for the European Fussbal championships or the Olympic games to sign ACTA. It will be less noticed then.

    Seriously, the German minister for Justice, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, argues that the EU should explain why ACTA is needed. Current German law would already be enough to comply with ACTA.

     

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  22.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:41am

    Re:

    I suspect the support difference in Germany and the UK has as much to do with the electoral systems in place in each nation.

    The UK, well at least England, is a first past the post system which tends to "punish" new parties rather than reward them. The proportional system used in Germany allows for new and not yet in the mainstream parties such as the Pirate Party and the Greens to emerge and win seats.

    At this point voting Pirate in the UK is a protest vote only, in Germany it means something.

    (By the way I'm no defender of proportional representation particularly in large countries such as Canada until some of the kinks get worked out such as how do we fire a rep who isn't performing as we'd like him/her to. Virtually impossible under most forms of PR.)

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Ruud Coenen, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:52am

    ACTA

    Sign the petition on Avaaz.org.
    Already 2000000 people did.
    More people, more pressure. Sign !!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Ruud Coenen, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 11:54am

    ACTA

    Sign the petition on Avaaz.org.
    Already 2000000 people did.
    More people, more pressure. Sign !!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Wizz, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    It is a good news.
    Why? Because for a couple of days, it would've seem like the eastern europe countries might be trying to leverage other stuff with this desaprobation. Because of EU's structure, it gets difficult if a couple of countries desagree.
    This treaty was pushed hard by France and other "wealthy" members, but it consequently opened a small crack: other european countries could use their signature to negociate.

    Except that now that Germany is letting it in the air for a small bit:
    1/ It begins to be newsworthy for more classics newspapers
    2/ It legitimates the pull from eastern countries.

    So even if its a very delicate pull, it's suffisient to implie better perspectives on the subject.

     

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  26.  
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    kamereon (profile), Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Signing ACTA

    From what I read, it seems that German minister for Justice, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, is the one that would be signing ACTA for Germany.
    She's made herself quite a name for actually strengthening consumer rights, pissing off the big lobbyists every now and then.
    This ACTA signing business may become quite interesting... :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

    It might still be a tactical move, but the justice minister, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, is from the junior partner of the coalition government, and known as an outspoken civil rights advocate (many years ago, she resigned from the same position over a law authorising large scale police wire taps, which she couldn't support).

    That said, the German government is of the opinion that the national parliament needs to ratify it too. The conservative party supports ACTA, and Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger's party does largely too. So if the two partners come to an agreement internally, the national parliament will ratify ACTA. Ultimately, the European Parliament will be expected to vote on it too, by the summer, though, there are still some opportunities for campaigns.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

    Schnarrenberger is a member of the German liberal party and one of the few remaining members who isn't just liberal in name only.
    Her track record suggests that her concerns are genuine, not just voiced to appease protestors and voters.
    Still, she's just one minister, and it's very likely - pretty much a given - that the majority of the rest is in favor, so don't relax just yet.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:52pm

    Glad to hear it, i just hope their not doing this to minimize the upcoming protests, then ramp up the ACTA support once the protest's have calmed down, hopefully not

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:52pm

    Glad to hear it, i just hope their not doing this to minimize the upcoming protests, then ramp up the ACTA support once the protest's have calmed down, hopefully not

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    Glad to hear it, i just hope their not doing this to minimize the upcoming protests, then ramp up the ACTA support once the protest's have calmed down, hopefully not

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2012 @ 3:54pm

    Re:

    whoops, sorry for tripple post

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    Richard Bennett (profile), Feb 11th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    Interesting

    Nicely nuanced post.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2012 @ 6:18am

    Germany doesnt really need to sign ACTA.. everything in it has been signed into law already years ago.

     

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  35.  
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    LC (profile), Feb 14th, 2012 @ 12:52am

    Re:

    Out of curiosity, how EXACTLY does Germany saying they won't sign ACTA discredit the anti-ACTA movement?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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