Poland Prime Minister Suspends Any Effort To Ratify ACTA; May Kill ACTA In The EU

from the don't-piss-of-the-net dept

This is getting interesting. Following the growing protests about ACTA in Europe, as well as signs of US meddling, Poland's prime minister is making it clear that Poland will not ratify ACTA for the time being, leading to speculation that the EU may not actually join ACTA.
Tusk's backtracking could spell the end of ACTA for the entire European Union. If Poland or any other EU member state, or the European Parliament itself, fails to ratify the document, it becomes null and void across the union. As it stands, there are already five member countries that have not even signed ACTA.

"I share the opinions of those who from the beginning said that consultations were not complete," Tusk said, according to a report in Wirtualna Polska. The 54-year-old prime minister added that a Polish rejection of ACTA is now on the table, and admitted that he had previously approached the agreement from a "20th century" perspective, due to his age.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 11:53am

    Viva Poland!!!

    Thanks God those backwards Pollacks have taken a stand against backward laws!!!!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:34pm

      Re: Viva Poland!!!

      Go back to germany you racist

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:32pm

        Re: Re: Viva Poland!!!

        Polish is a race? I thought it was a sausage?

         

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        Rapnel (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 4:03pm

        Re: Re: Viva Poland!!!

        In substance I find your comment tacitly agreeable.

        Any man that looks down on another man for racial, ethnic or even religious reasons is not a whole man and is a burden to men and he should not be carried.

         

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        bratwurzt (profile), Feb 6th, 2012 @ 5:31am

        Re: Re: Viva Poland!!!

        It's not racism, it's nacism. Rase = same colour of skin, Nation = same nationality. You could be polish and black. Or polish and asian. Rare but possible...

        And with bringing Germans into this you get an award of being a hypocrite.

        But you could be a clever troll...strange are the ways of comment board on techdirt.

         

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    Jay (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    So now the new question... How much public scrutiny is going to be paid to the TPP that Heph posted recently?

     

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    Tusk cannot END the ratification process, just postpone it for later. Our media are questioning his declaration because in fact it changes nothing. ACTA will have to be voted on regardless, just a bit later. Most of the media think that Tusk is just counting on the fact that people will forget about the entire situation and stop protesting. So he's doing some damage control, but the danger of ACTA being passed is still on the horizon.

     

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      Gwiz (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:56pm

      Re:

      Thank you for the clarification, Chris.

      Out of curiosity, who does the actual voting on ACTA ratification process in Poland and are they elected officials who could be swayed by public opposition? If so, gaining this extra time could prove crucial.

       

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        Tom from Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:23pm

        Re: Re:

        Parliament is the one to vote so yes, representatives will be under presser from the public.

        But.. Tusk is a very skilled player and a great PR-ist so this won't be as easy as people think based on the today's declaration by Tusk. He has already managed to complaint on his officials, which is a clear sign of a heavy PR being turned on - this is his routine trick, like in the old Russia where Tzar was always the good guy, only officials were evil.

         

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      Raphael (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:03pm

      Re:

      Agreed, thanks for the clarification. I'm optimistic that a lot of us have signed up for this game of whack-a-maximalist for the long haul. It's good exercise of the ol' democracy, and I think everyone has an eye on the fluffy public domain plush hanging over the counter when the machine starts spitting out tickets.

       

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      Alex V, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:21pm

      Re:

      Well, if you follow the link in the ZDNet article to the article in WirtualnaPolska that the debate over ACTA "may need to revise the traditional concept of property rights, in a situation where the traditional internet turned reality upside down."

      The is the first time I've heard a politician from any country say that.

       

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        Tom from Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:27pm

        Re: Re:

        I would also be happy with that statement if I didn't knew how great PR player he is - it's almost clear to me that it's a statement baked by his propagandists to make the protesters calm down.

        Note that the people protesting in Poland were mostly young people that voted for Tusk in recent elections, so he is now in a damage control mode - and will say everything that's needed to re-gain as much support from them as possible.

         

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          DinosaurHunter (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 10:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So then, Tom, your job is clear. You must make your fellow Poles aware of the slippery nature of this Tusk, and make sure they keep up the pressure so that he can't get away with only pretending to oppose this oppressive pact.

           

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      DannyB (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:34pm

      Re:

      > Tusk cannot END the ratification process, just postpone it for later.


      Use Jack Valenti's approach.

      Temporarily postpone it until Forever minus one day.

      (That is how long Jack Valenti proposed that copyrights should last.)

       

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      Gwiz (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:58pm

      Re:

      Most of the media think that Tusk is just counting on the fact that people will forget about the entire situation and stop protesting.

      He probably is counting on that.

      It's not a bet I would make though, the collective consciousness of the internet does not forget so easily.

       

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      s. keeling (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

      Re:

      If Poland can kill EU's participation in ACTA, doesn't Tusk gain support from all those protesting, including all other EU member states? This would raise Poland's stature as an EU kingmaker.

      Why do I feel the urge to giggle like a school girl? Way to go Dallas, er, Poland!

       

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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Have we finally reached a turning point? The point were copyright maximalist have pushed so far that people are starting to push back?

    I hate to get my hopes up, but it's sure starting to look that way.

     

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    Kevin H (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:57pm

    This is why we need Wikileaks and other services like them. I want every communication between Washington DC and Embassies abroad that have to do with ACTA in any way shape or form. I want to know what was said, and who said it. The only way to end this kind of public usurping is to bring these backdoor deals into the light and let the people see what they are doing. If its casts a bad light on us then so be it. We shouldn't have been doing it in the first place.

     

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      Machin Shin (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:02pm

      Re:

      Well, hard to cast anything but a bad light on the US government lately. I'm kind of disgusted by the condition of our government.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:18pm

      Re:

      "I want every communication between Washington DC and Embassies abroad that have to do with ACTA in any way shape or form. I want to know what was said, and who said it. The only way to end this kind of public usurping is to bring these backdoor deals into the light and let the people see what they are doing. "

      Your absolutely right. The stuff politicans argue about in public is peanuts compared to the real deals being made behind our backs under the guise of "trade agreements".

      Start a petition about requesting documents concerning ACTA. A newspaper or magazine should be on the trail for FOIA documents.

       

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    Pwdrskir (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Kill the Bill

    Poland can start the ball rolling.

    Why are politicos looking to the past to "save jobs"? They need to look to the FUTURE and the future is the Creative Competition of the Internet. New personal content will create more jobs than Hollywood and past content.

     

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      Ima Fish (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:22pm

      Re: Kill the Bill

      Maximizing copyright has nothing to do with saving or creating jobs. That's just BS politicians say to ensure their cut.

      Politicians give out rights to collect monopoly rents, and in exchange, the politicians get to keep some of the gravy for themselves. This scam has been going on for over a century, it's just that the tax payers are finally getting sick of it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:07pm

    I'd like to underscore an important aspect of the prime minister's comment:

    "20th century perspective"

    Lawmakers haven't caught up with technology yet, and since technology accelerates at an exponential rate, probably never will.

     

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    simple_simon, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:23pm

    Google At It Again

    Stupid damn Google. Now look what they've done!

     

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    farooge (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha; it's over

    is the 'k st' area suitable for heavy industry? can we beg Bill Gates and Google to buy it up and encourage industry to put some union jobs there (free beer and public transportation from 1700 to 0300 on fri & sat!?!)? wouldn't that be awesome?

    they could offer dibs on the choice positions to out of work lobbyists. you know, something they're actually qualified for (and, if you think like me, their karma _probably_ says they deserve) like bumper installing for one of those people who drive the cars off the line

    this is so much faster than i ever dreamed possible

    last thing - thanks Poland.

    (yea, it's _always_ 1/2 full ...)

     

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    Tusk and his political party lost 5% support overall in the last two weeks and an entire 17% among the youngest voters and those not yet allowed to vote. He's doing damage control for his own political benefit, but nevertheless, this might in fact lead to a reform of copyright law in poland. Our minister of culture has acknowleged that the law in this regard is outdated. Furthermore, an academic study "Obiegi Kultury" (an english version is forthcoming) (http://www.obiegikultury.centrumcyfrowe.pl/) has proven beyond all doubt on a representative group of Polish people that those who download media off the internet are the same people who BUY the most media in stores and are the most culurally active overall. Now everyone is quoting this academic study against copyright maximalists. Our equivalent of the RIAA in Poland is ZAiKS and it seems to be losing its arguments due to this study. In fact, ZAiKS fucked up several years ago by trying to make people pay for playing Creative Commons music in public places (pubs, clubs, etc.). So there's a HUGE backlash against copyright maximalism among the 15-35 age group and among voters and politicians are beginning to see this in the voting polls.

     

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:15pm

    We don't have a Pirate Party... yet :-). I mean, we do, theoretically... But they're just an organization and they have a blog, but I'm not even sure if they're registered as as political party and they sure aren't in the Parliament... So we don't have a REAL Pirate Party, but we sure will soon :-). The people have woken up.

     

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:21pm

    Our non-government organizations have already requested documents pertaining to negotiating ACTA in its earliest stages. They want to know who the interested parties were and who in particular influenced each part of ACTA. So it's already happening.

     

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      Ema, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 7:55pm

      Re: requesting documenty from PO?

      If we can't get the truth about Smolensk, why do you think they will be honest about ACTA?

       

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    On a side note, here's the smallest, but also the coolest anti-ACTA demonstration: ACTA vs dubstep in front of the presidential palace.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGjbBeOnQ5g

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:25pm

    I'm gonna eat all those old polish jokes if they save the world.

     

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Polish jokes don't offend us. We too have our American and Russian jokes, so to each his own :-).

     

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      s. keeling (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 5:50pm

      Re:

      Polish jokes don't offend us. We too have our American and Russian jokes, so to each his own :-)

      I read the same thing on slashdot.org last night from another Pole when I was reading about this there. It was quite a rousing discussion with quite a few Poles contributing, and very positive, anti-ACTA just like this one (not to take anything away from TD :-).

      Thanks Chris for the report, and I hope for the best for yourself, Poland, and the EU. Much appreciated.

       

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    We make the best fucking sausages in the world :-)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:37pm

    Sounds like a complete shift in opinion;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_7CjgdlRrE&feature=related

     

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    The "few students" represent a 17% of the voting population. A "to be or not to be" for a political party. This isn't just a minor protest group, but a generational movement.

    But yes, the particular protest I linked to was the smallest one I've seen. It was more of an "afterparty" to the proper protest.

     

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      Tom from Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:49pm

      Re:

      I meant that Polish Pirate Party was just a few students, not the whole anti-ACTA movement - if that's what you mean.

       

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:48pm

    If you want to see the REAL protests, look no further than here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNqNYY-Ihv4

     

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      Daria, Feb 5th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

      Re:

      Chris, thank you! This video has made my day! I had no idea that so many people protested in Poland, mainly because the mainstream media never reported any of it. It's strange how all TV stations decided, independently of course, to completely ignore the protests all over Europe. They talk about the "horrible winter" that has befallen us for 30 minutes, but not a pip about ACTA in the past week. This bury-your-head-in-the-sand-and-hope-it-goes-away approach is getting absolutely ridiculous. Some articles have appeared in the online press, but they're mostly "neutral". I shared your link on Facebook and encouraged my friends to do the same. Hats off to Poland! Hope we'll be able to match you on Saturday!

       

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    Yeah, I agree, the Polish Pirate Party is a joke for now. But I guess they will become more popular in the years to come, once the younger generation receives voting rights.

     

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    Brandon, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:54pm

    Correct me if I'm wrong but ACTA would still go a head without the EU countries? Hope I'm wrong

     

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 2:57pm

    Yes, ACTA would function in the USA, Japan, Mexico.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 4:07pm

      Re:

      Thanks

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 7:55pm

        Re: Re:

        United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea have signed. The European Union, Mexico, and Switzerland attended but did not sign, professing support and saying they will do so in the future. - via Wikipedia (fwiw)

         

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          identicon
          Daria, Feb 5th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The European Union as a whole may not have signed it, but a lot of countries in the EU did. Fortunately, if the European Parliament rejects it, the signatures don't matter, because they won't be able to enforce it in the EU. At least that's the theory.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 4:05pm

    Please feel free to correct me if I am mistaken, but I have no recollection of ACTA containing any enforcement mechanisms agaist signatories. It is hard to get all hot and bothered about a document that is for all intents and purposes a memorandum of understanding outlining goals.

     

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 1:15am

    ACTA itself does not introduce particular laws for copyright enforcement. What it does is it confines the framework of copyright enforcement possibilities to particular solutions which are in its spirit, so it PETRIFIES the state of law so that no other solutions which would contradict ACTA could ever be put forward. So YES, ACTA does not introduce particular laws, but the countries themselves will have to, on the basis of ACTA, introduce such laws to make their laws compatible with ACTA. So when ACTA passes, there will be no means of ever backtracking from copyright maximalism and liberalizing the law.

     

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      s. keeling (profile), Feb 4th, 2012 @ 6:01pm

      Re:

      ... but the countries themselves will have to, on the basis of ACTA, introduce such laws to make their laws compatible with ACTA.

      Worse, once all the backroom dealing on ACTA is done, then ACTA signatories can bash all those nations not a party to it to conform or face sanctions, yada, yada. Lots of innocent nations were not invited and are not party to ACTA discussions. They will be subject to the result.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 9:20am

    Tusk kłamie

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 9:24am

    Tusk niby chce rozmawiać ze społeczeństwem ,a tak naprawdę to o protestach na całym świecie nic w telewizji nie słychać

     

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    Chris From Poland, Feb 6th, 2012 @ 6:23am

    Daria - most EU countries have SIGNED ACTA, but none have RATIFIED it. A proposal of law needs to be ratified for it to become law. The signing process itself is a "promise" of ratification, but politicians can change their mind, or HAVE THEIR MIDS CHANGED if enough people make enough of a fuss. And believe me, we are making a fuss :-).

     

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      identicon
      Daria, Feb 7th, 2012 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      I know, Chris, that's what I was trying to clarify as well - that the countries have signed, but not ratified ACTA and that we can still make a difference. (Maybe I wasn't very good at it :p) I've seen you guys protest in Poland (thanks for the link, by the way) and it was quite a sight to see - congratulations and thank you for everything you're doing. I'm hoping we'll be able to match you this Saturday.

       

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