EU Parliament Rejects ACTA: Will It Matter?

from the let's-wait-and-see dept

A bunch of folks have been letting us know that a majority of European Members of Parliament have signed a declaration against ACTA, making it official EU policy. The document has them rejecting not just the anti-transparency involved in ACTA negotiations, but the content of ACTA as well. This is, of course, the same EU Parliament that condemned the secrecy by an overwhelming vote earlier this year, but this appears to be a step further. Of course, it's the EU Commission that's handling the negotiations, so I'm not entirely sure whether or not this is actually meaningful. Perhaps those who know a bit more about EU politics can chime in and let us know. It certainly seems like a bad thing for ACTA supporters, but I do wonder if various governments will (or can?) just ignore the EU Parliament on this one...

Reader Comments (rss)

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  1. icon
    Jay (profile), Sep 7th, 2010 @ 3:33pm

    Maybe the ACTA EU negotiators will get promotions for their failure.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 3:54pm


    They already have jobs, they are mouthpieces for the MAFIAA.

    On the other hand, who are those people "buying" stuff from those pigs?

    They should all be pirating and let the industry go bankrupt to stop the menace that this industry has become.

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

  3. identicon
    Mr Big Content, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    Would You Trust A Politician To Make A Sensible Decision?


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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 4:08pm

    There is no EU copyright law. Such law is the province of each member nation, and it is those member nations that will decide for themselves what ACTA should and should not include.

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

  5. identicon
    Don, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 4:31pm

    WS12 was not "against ACTA"

    It is not anti-ACTA. WS12 adresses some abuses.

    But the real trouble will emerge when they wonder why the ACTA criminal chapter is accepted but the IPRED2 directive on criminal sanctions pending at the Council with certain safeguards, and yes, IPRED2 includes a fair use provision, ACTA not. IPRED2 is not accepted by member states thus pending. Can can then the EU conclude a trade agreement with criminal sanctions? And no, TRIPs is no precedent, because it was 1994 adopted by the EU with a little trick. They endorsed the agreement insofar in falls within their competences. Without IPRED2 adopted there is no competence.

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

  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 4:34pm

    There is always a window open on the internet.

    Parkour Cat

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

  7. identicon
    Jean-Marc Liotier, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 1:42am

    Parliament has legislative power

    This Written Declaration is certainly not the end of the story, but it is a strong signal that the Parliament will not stand for the text as is is proposed. The Commission may be negotiating ACTA secretly, but in the EU the Parliament ultimately holds legislative power - which is a Good Thing™.

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

  8. identicon
    John Doe, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 2:06am

    The EU Commission is handling the negotiations, but it has to pass through the EU Parliment to become law (and as indicated by WD12 passing, they are well ticked off).

    Essentially, with WD12 passed the Parliment now has a paper saying that it will not accept a treaty that is beeing/has been negotiated in secrecy, come vote time (on ACTA) i think it will matter.

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

  9. identicon
    J. Zimmermann, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 3:54am

    Political signal and context

    Beyond what Written Declaration 12/2010 says, you have to think about it in political terms, as an element in the power game between the European Parliament (the democratic legislator of the EU) and the Commission (the sort-of government, negotiating on behalf of the EU). Since the Lisbon Treaty (TFEU) the Parliament now has to cast a vote to accept or reject agreements negotiated by the Commission..

    It now with WD12 has a great opportunity, and legitimacy to recall "we, as a whole Parliament, may reject ACTA if it doesn't conform to such and such principles, and respect democratic process". It is a political tool, it is ours to use now.

    WD12 was also a formidable tool to get in contact with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and their staff, and to raise their awareness about ACTA, and its stakes for an open, free, therefore neutral Internet. It will be extremely helpful for the upcoming legislative (IPRED2 directive) and non-legislative (Gallo report preparing IPRED2) battles.

    Also, it was a great tool to raise awareness among EU citizens, providing them with simple steps (call to invite to sign) to get a first contact with their elected representatives, that here again will be helpful for later, including for the vote when the Parliament will have an occasion to reject ACTA as a whole.. A kind of a foot in the door.

    You have to see that as a small step in a much larger series of event. An important step, because EU citizens teamed up together from more a dozen of countries to make their voices heard, and make their elected representatives take a strong political position.

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

  10. identicon
    Jean-Marc Liotier, Sep 8th, 2010 @ 5:00am

    Press conference in progress

    For live commentary of the press conference of the initiators of Written Declaration 12/2010 follow @jerezim on

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

  11. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 8th, 2010 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re:

    "They should all be pirating and let the industry go bankrupt"

    Pirate checklist ....

    French president - check
    UK prime minister - check
    US president - check
    Spains president - check

    We are off to a good start :)

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

  12. identicon
    bikey, Oct 6th, 2010 @ 3:45am


    While technically, there is no 'EU copyright law', national copyright law has been significantly affected by harmonizing directives over the past 20 years. More importantly in this case, Article 207 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty (TFEU) puts the commercial aspects of IP under the (exclusive) jurisdiction of the EU with regard to negotiating international agreements. It is simply no longer the case that member states have the power to decide for themselves whether they wish to join ACTA or not.

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

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