Netherlands Pre-Warns EU Parliament That It Will Not Accept ACTA

from the good-for-them dept

With critical votes in the EU Parliament on ACTA quickly approaching, the Dutch House of Representatives decided to take a pre-emptive strike, and unanimously accept a motion that urged the Cabinet to reject ACTA, while also rejecting "any future treaty that may harm a free and open Internet." Of course, this is the same Netherlands whose courts are currently censoring a local political party for setting up an internet proxy, so it appears there's at least some confusion in that country. Either way, it's nice to see this pre-emptive strike, though it's not clear how much power the Dutch government would have to reject ACTA if the EU Parliament accepted it...


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2012 @ 12:48am

    It's also the same Netherlands that recently passed a network neutrality law, so I'd say we're two for one at the moment.

     

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  2.  
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    Catharina, May 30th, 2012 @ 1:01am

    It's the elections..

    In The Netherlands we got elections coming, so now parties that could never be bothered suddenly jump up and down on ACTA. Maybe they seen the rising of the German Pirate Party and are scared the Dutch Pirate Party will follow in their footsteps?

     

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  3.  
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    anon, May 30th, 2012 @ 1:22am

    eu law

    I was sure there was a protection for individual countries to not have to abide by laws that infringe on anyones legal rights in that country.

     

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  4.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 1:36am

    Re: eu law

    That's part-illusion and part reality: treaties have to be ratified by all EU Commission members before it can go to a vote.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Howard, May 30th, 2012 @ 1:54am

    Alea iACTA est

    Alea iACTA est

     

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    Christopher (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 2:00am

    Although we are a small country, we have always have proven that to be trendsetters. For instance, we were the first country to adopt gay-marriage.

    Yes we have elections coming, but that doesn't argue against it. In Dutch Constitutional law we have the confidencly principle (vertrouwensbeginsel) which states that once the House has decided over a specific matter it should leave it there even if another House arrives.

     

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    Wolfy, May 30th, 2012 @ 2:38am

    This puts them right past Belize as my retirement country of choice.

     

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  8.  
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    Seegras (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 3:20am

    Judges vs. Parliament

    Different branches, legislative versus judicative.

    It's entirely possible that they're at odds, altough it's usually the judicative branch which keeps the legislative one in check, not the other way round.

     

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  9.  
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    Christopher (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 3:39am

    Re: Judges vs. Parliament

    Not so much in the Netherlands because our Constitution prohibits rulings about the legality of laws (art 120 Grondwet). So the legislative has the last word.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2012 @ 5:54am

    all EU countries need to do the same, finishing this bad piece of USA and USA businesses oriented legislation for good whilst at the same time expressing the view that there will be similar rejection of any 'like-minded legislation' in the future, regardless of the name, the wording or the threats that accompanied it

     

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    Cerberus (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 6:30am

    After the fall of the last (right-wing) cabinet, the role of a player, the right-wing populists (Wilders) seems to be have ended. Without him, a right-wing coalition is impossible. Since all left-wing parties are against ACTA-like treaties and laws, it seems impossible that any such treaty should be accepted over during the following years. And the liberal right-wingers have returned to their roots as well and are now firmly against ACTA. So we're safe for the next couple of years.

     

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  12.  
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    Cerberus (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 6:30am

    Re:

    *of a key player

     

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    nasch (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 8:24am

    Pre-warn??

    Pre-warn? Aren't all warnings "pre"? Is there some kind of post-warning I'm not aware of?

     

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  14.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 9:18am

    Re: Pre-warn??

    It's just politi-speak for "GIVE UZ TEH MONNAYZ!"

     

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  15.  
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    Mr. Oizo, May 30th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Every country has vetoright, hence it matters.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2012 @ 9:53am

    However, according to one article I read, as soon as ACTA is ratified by any six nations, the convention will come into force.

    If they follow the way US politics works, everyone will vote no except for the six countries required for activation, then run back to their constituents and say "sorry, we tried, but were 'obligated' to follow the rules."

    On the other hand, if it worked the way US politics did, they'd have just set a deadline for automatic activation, hold it up in "committees" until after the deadline had passed, and then everyone could vote no, at which point the vote would be meaningless and despite unanimous rejections they would not be able to garner the 2/3 or 3/4 vote necessary for repeal.

     

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  17.  
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    Who Cares (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 9:58am

    Ratification

    The Netherlands delayed ratification of the ACTA treaty in January. This means that they can kill it, seeing that all member states of the EU have to ratify the treaty, by just not signing.

     

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  18.  
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    Who Cares (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 10:08am

    Date Fix

    Wasn't January but February

     

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  19.  
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    Cerberus (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    ACTA is now dead in the EU.

    If six countries should ratify the treaty, it will only come into force for those countries that have ratified it. See Wikipedia on ACTA:

    No signatory has ratified (formally approved) the agreement, which would come into force after ratification by 6 countries. After entry into force, the treaty would only apply in those countries that ratified it.

    The only sliver of doubt is the fact that the EU is not a country. However, the European Commission told ZDnet:

    [I]f a member state turns down the agreement, "ACTA will stay a valid international agreement but the EU and its member states will not deposit their instrument of ratification until all member states and the European Parliament have ratified it". If you don't deposit your instrument of ratification, the rules say, you don't play. http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/intellectual-property/2012/02/03/actas-eu-future-in-doubt-after-polish-p ause-40094978/#comments

    So I think it is safe to assume that a single country can block ACTA's ratification by the EU. I am not sure whether it is theoretically possible that ACTA should come into force in individual EU countries if the EU rejects it; however, I don't think any EU country would consider ratifying it if the EU cannot ratify it.

    So ACTA has no future in Europe, it seems, unless a new Dutch parliament gets elected containing entirely new parties that will revert the decision of the current parliament. Since the decision not to ratify was made unanimously, this seems extremely unlikely. ACTA is dead in Europe; rejoice!

    Frankly I consider the chance that it will be ratified by six non-EU countries small: would Japan, New Zealand, Morocco and such countries really ratify a treaty that was widely criticised and rejected by the EU?

     

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  20.  
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    Cerberus (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

    Re: ACTA is now dead in the EU.

    Oh shit, I forgot the after the link.

     

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  21.  
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    Cerberus (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: ACTA is now dead in the EU.

    The blockquote. Arg, it actually parsed my blockquote as a blockquote instead of raw characters (of course).

     

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  22.  
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    PopeyeLePoteaux, May 30th, 2012 @ 3:41pm

    News Headline.

    Barack Obama: Lets bomb Holland and bring it to "democracy".

     

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  23.  
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    The Rufmeister-General, May 31st, 2012 @ 3:10am

    There was another small interesting part of the motion!

    I'm not sure it was the same motion, because the motion had a sibling (also passed) that warns that the cabinet should also hold off on similar treaties in the future.

    Anyway, one of those two motions also explicitly said (quoted in Dutch): "Ik verzoek de regering tot slot het auteursrechtbeleid toe te spitsen op de economische groeimogelijkheden die het internet biedt via onder meer nieuwe verdienmodellen voor legaal aanbod."

    Which means (approx.): "Lastly, I request the government focus the copyright policy on economic growth possibilities that the internet offers through, amongst others, new business models for legal offerings".

    The very fact that a motion, passed by the House, not only condemns ACTA but explicitly says that the "solution" to the current "problem" is to make stuff available legally in consumer-friendly ways, is (IMHO) a very big deal.

    Yay for The Netherlands! After that retarded judge thinking he can block TPB, we can be finally proud of our country again. GO WINDMILLS! GO WOODEN SHOES! INTERNET FOR ALL :D

     

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  24.  
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    Rottweiler, May 31st, 2012 @ 3:18am

    Good news!

    The JURI comitee voted against Gallo's report recomending the ratification of ACTA, and the ITRE comitee voted in favor of Andersdotter's report recomending not to ratify ACTA.

    https://www.laquadrature.net/en/acta-a-blow-to-copyright-fundamentalism-in-the-legal-affair s-committee

     

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  25.  
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    quawonk, May 31st, 2012 @ 4:34am

    Netherlands: We won't allow US corporations to write our laws (ACTA), but if they ask us to block websites (pirate bay) we'll do that.

     

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  26.  
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    Cerberus (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 4:13pm

    Re:

    See my comment below: 1.) it will then only come into force for those six countries that have ratified it; 2.) a single country can veto the EU's ratification (according to the quoted e-mail from the European Commission). So the EU will definitely not ratify ACTA any more in the foreseeable future.

     

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