EU Politicians Snub European Commission: Do Not See IP Protection As Key To Internal Security Strategy

from the ACTA-backfires dept

One of the most dishonest aspects of ACTA was its attempt to equate genuinely dangerous products like fake medicines with totally harmless ones like unauthorized digital copies. Fortunately, that’s such an absurd equivalence that more and more people have voiced their concerns over it — including the Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament, who cited it as one reason why they would be voting against ACTA:

ACTA wrongly bundles together too many different types of IPR enforcement under the same umbrella, treating physical goods and digital services in the same way. We believe they should be approached in separate sectoral agreements, and following a comprehensive and democratically debated mandate and impact assessment.

EDRI points out that the European Commission has just suffered a major defeat at the hands of the European Parliament thanks to this lazy kind of coupling in its proposed “Internal Security Strategy” (ISS) for Europe:

In a piece of what the Commission appears to have believed to be a piece of masterful political syllogism, it explained in its Internal Security Strategy (adopted at the end of 2010) that dangerous counterfeit goods are a threat for human health. These counterfeiting offences are infringements of intellectual property rights (IPR). “Piracy” is also an infringement of intellectual proprety rights. Consequently, the fight against “counterfeiting and piracy” must be included in the EU’s Internal Security Strategy.

This is part of the wider strategy, as seen in ACTA, to treat all IPR as if it were the same, with dangerous medicines being considered as important as unauthorised downloading and vice versa. The obvious problem, as has become obvious in the ACTA, is that treating serious and trivial infringements as if they were of equal importance will inevitably result in either the serious infringement being treated as if it were trivial or vice versa.

But something that might have been simply waved through before ACTA has now been met with skepticism:

The European Parliament, however, far more sensitive now to the questionable approach of the European Commission to intellectual property rights as a result of the ACTA discussions, recognised this crude attempt to push its so far unsuccessful approach to an even higher level of hysteria. Whatever else one can say about downloading a song without authorisation, the number of deaths that it is likely to cause is, we believe, comparatively low.

As a result, and by a huge majority, the members of the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the ISS that includes the following major slap-down for the European Commission:

…it does not appear fully justified or appropriate to take action in the field of the enforcement of intellectual property rights – a matter which is part of a specific in-depth debate – within the framework of the ISS;

That is a noteworthy refusal, and suggests that ACTA’s attempt to lump online sharing with counterfeit medicines, and to make them subject to the same severe civil and even criminal sanctions, has backfired badly. It might be too much to take this ISS snub as an indication of what will happen when the European Parliament votes on ACTA later this summer, but it certainly suggests a new-found wariness in this area.

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Comments on “EU Politicians Snub European Commission: Do Not See IP Protection As Key To Internal Security Strategy”

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Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: I want to see the statistics

No it’s real. The RIAA has sued at least two dead people. I think it’s safe to say that both of them died from sharing unauthorized songs, otherwise the RIAA wouldn’t have been trying to get to the bottom of it all. These magnanimous actions are right in line with their outstanding customer concerns.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: I want to see the statistics

We need a funny button on that sentence, sonny.

Whatever else one can say about downloading a song without authorisation, the number of deaths that it is likely to cause is, we believe, comparatively low.

I can picture an unsuspecting legal customers being e-murdered by some filthy pirate and his e-kinfe/e-gun.


Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile) says:

scientifically proven to be a TRUE STORY

You can reproduce the result too.

( please don’t use this technique for self harm or suicide )

This is how I nearly died from violating IP.

Last Thursday , I downloaded a pirate copy of Justin Beiber’s album. It was in low ,96khz MP3 format.
Listened to it for about 5min, then I started feeling strange. No , I am not a lesbian, so I don’t see Justin Beiber that way, that was not the strangeness I felt.
My ears where gushing out blood.
I lost over 9000milliliters of blood, nearly bled to death.

The message: Don’t violate IP kids. You can you die from poor encodes.

True Story

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Techdirt should be congratulated. TD has been hammering on the attempt to commingle IP claims by ACTA supporters. TD critics here and on other forums have tried to ridicule Mike and others who have repeatedly called out the attempted sleight-of-hand.

Now we see the fruits of TechDirt’s persistence. Congratulations to all of the regular bloggers here, and thank you for your efforts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think it has something to do with several politicians from the European Parliament reading TechDirt.

From The pirates in Sweden to D66 in Netherlands there are several politicians explicitly admitting that TechDirt is one of their sources for opinions. It speaks a great deal for the logic in the arguments from techdirt writers and, unfortunately, somewhat about the alternatives or lack thereof after The Register has gone neo-con/”fair and balanced”.

Also: It is pretty clearly a problematic treaty when one of the most known lawyers in Denmark, who has previously represented the music industry in a bunch of their wild lawsuit sprees, points out that ACTA is not what it has been pushed as and that he could not support the commisions/danish governments interpretation of it as “non-substantial”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Fake drugs, like pink tinted flour capsules instead of an actual active substance that will treat a disease.

Generics, most of the time are produced winthin borders by local laboratories or by the same big pharma companies that made the branded ones but under an alternative brand that they use to sell generics (which is also a very lucrative market for them).

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