ACTA Rapporteur's Recommendations: Reject Treaty, But Ask European Commission To Come Up With Replacement
from the not-quite-what-we-hoped-for dept
Last week, the EU Rapporteur on ACTA, David Martin, announced he would recommend that the European Parliament reject the treaty. He has now made good on that promise in his report, available in draft form (pdf):
The intended benefits of this international agreement are far outweighed by the potential threats to civil liberties. Given the vagueness of certain aspects of the text and the uncertainty over its interpretation, the European Parliament cannot guarantee adequate protection for citizens’ rights in the future under ACTA.
Your rapporteur therefore recommends that the European Parliament declines to give consent to ACTA.
It’s interesting to note the main areas of ACTA that he found unsatisfactory:
Unintended consequences of the ACTA text is a serious concern. On individual criminalisation, the definition of “commercial-scale”, the role of internet service providers and the possible interruption of the transit of generic medicines, your rapporteur maintains doubts that the ACTA text is as precise as is necessary.
However, Martin does not have a problem with the underlying idea of ACTA:
The problems which ACTA seeks to address are real and growing. Counterfeiting and piracy have increased substantially and continue to do so. The consequences of the growth in these illegal activities range from economic losses to health and safety dangers. The European Union has much to lose without efficient and enforced global coordination in copyright protection.
As a result, he concludes as follows:
Following the expected revision of relevant EU directives, your rapporteur hopes the European Commission will therefore come forward with new proposals for protecting IP.
This seems to be a reference to the imminent revision of IPRED (“intellectual property rights enforcement directive”). The European Commission has already published what it calls its “indicative roadmap” (pdf) for IPRED, so it’s clear that it is working on a new proposal. Martin’s closing comment suggests that it may get an easier ride through the European Parliament than ACTA, which could encourage the Commission to incorporate some of ACTA’s ideas in IPRED 2 — before moving on to ACTA 2.0.