The EU Commission Tries To Defend ACTA And Fails Miserably

from the shocking dept

We've already discussed the many, many concerns that people have that ACTA will go against current US law (though, it appears that negotiators have put in enough weasel words that they can pretend it doesn't until a later date when the laws need to be updated). It seems that something similar is happening in Europe. A bunch of academics had written a letter to the EU Commission earlier this year, pointing out the many, many (sometimes serious) conflicts with EU law and the final draft of ACTA. Recently, the EU Commission responded (pdf). However, as pointed out by Slashdot, an analysis of the response by Ante Wessels shows that The EU Commission appears to lack basic reading skills.

Basically, as with the US analysis, the issue is that ACTA is dreadfully drafted, in such a way that many parts are vague or overly broad. This allows ACTA supporters to claim that there are ways to work around anything that people complain about -- but in this case, part of the complaints was that the broadness and vagueness meant that it went beyond current EU law. The EU's response was more or less to repeat the lie that the broad and vague definitions would mean countries could do their own thing and remain in compliance.

Basically, it looks like ACTA supporters on both sides of the Atlantic are now using this kind of strategy. When people confront you on something specific, point to the vague and broad language and pretend that the specific issues are solved by that. When people point to the problems with broad and vague language, insist that there's nothing to worry about. What a debacle.
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Filed Under: acta, eu


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 May 2011 @ 11:00am

    If you care to know what people who've thought about ACTA actually think go to regulations.gov and research the comments yourself. Our favorites from this site appear on there (as well as industry types, law professors and others) and, other than Free Software Foundation, none of them believe ACTA is going to do anything to effect U.S. law except in theory (orphan works legislation, psychological pressure on copyright issues). If you're against the passage of ACTA because you're an IP minimalist and the passage of anything that potentially enhances IP rights is a problem for you, then there's nothing to be said (though I say focus on COICA - it's actually going to do something). If you are a thoughtful citizen who wants sensible IP laws that protect artists and innovators while still preserving a robust public domain, ACTA shouldn't bother you very much.

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