Three Key EU Parliament Committees Vote 'Just Say No' To ACTA

from the some-good-news dept

While some have believed that ACTA is already dead in Europe, there are still actual votes to be held, and there have been significant concerns that political trickery might lead to ACTA actually being approved. The first three key votes (from three specific committees) happened today, and while it was close, all three came out with recommendations to reject ACTA. As Rick Falkvinge points out, one telling point is if you look at the votes on the Committee on Legal Affairs (Juri) and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The winning proposal for ITRE was drafted by Pirate Party MEP (and occasional Techdirt contributor) Amelia Andersdotter. The losing proposal for Juri was written by Marielle Gallo -- author of the infamous Gallo Report a few years ago, pushing the EU Parliament to support massively draconian IP enforcement rules. In other words, "the pirate" vs. "the copyright maximalist" in an EU Parlimantary committee votes... and the pirate won. Not too long ago, such a result would be unthinkable. However, it shows how quickly things can shift when you have reality on your side...


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    Cerberus (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 10:22pm

    Rejoice! ACTA has already been permanently vetoed for the entire EU by the Netherlands.

    I read on ZDnet.co.uk, whose David Meyer had been informed of this by an e-mail from the European Commission, that the EU can only ratify ACTA if all member states have ratified. Given the Dutch total rejection, this means that the EU cannot ratify ACTA at all, even if the European Parliament should vote for ACTA. The e-mail also says that no individual member states will ratify ACTA if the EU will not ratify it; that would mean that the Dutch rejection prevents all other member states from individually ratifying ACTA as well. So the battle seems over.

    That really is what the European Commission is telling me. To give a precise quote: if a member state turns down the agreement, "ACTA will stay a valid international agreement but the EU and its member states will not deposit their instrument of ratification until all member states and the European Parliament have ratified it". If you don't deposit your instrument of ratification, the rules say, you don't play." — David Meyer 6 February, 2012 08:08 http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/intellectual-property/2012/02/03/actas-eu-future-in-doubt-after-polish-p ause-40094978/#comments


    Add to that the background and the actual articles given on the following page, and it seems ACTA is really, truly dead in the EU. Rejoice!

    The Commission proposal says: "... For this reason, the Commission proposes that ACTA be signed and concluded both by the EU and by all the Member States.
    (...)
    So ACTA is presented as a mixed agreement. The rules for that can be found in the Nice Treaty. Under (Nice) Treaty establishing the European Community art 133.6 “the negotiation of such agreements shall require the common accord of the Member States”. Common accord: the EU member states do have a veto. — http://acta.ffii.org/?p=1122

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 1st, 2012 @ 2:09am

      Re: Rejoice! ACTA has already been permanently vetoed for the entire EU by the Netherlands.

      I read on ZDnet.co.uk, whose David Meyer had been informed of this by an e-mail from the European Commission, that the EU can only ratify ACTA if all member states have ratified. Given the Dutch total rejection, this means that the EU cannot ratify ACTA at all, even if the European Parliament should vote for ACTA.

      This is not quite correct for a variety of reasons. The key one is that the Dutch "rejection" was a *recommendation* by the legislature, and not at all binding.

       

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        Cerberus (profile), Jun 1st, 2012 @ 8:09am

        Re: Re: Rejoice! ACTA has already been permanently vetoed for the entire EU by the Netherlands.

        I don't think that's how it works. It is not a mere recommendation: it is a binding motion ("motie"). The formula "verzoekt" does mean "request" literally, but it is the standard polite way of commanding the government and future members of parliament (see "vertrouwensbeginsel") not to ratify it. It is not possible for the government to ignore a motion like this, or it would be a coup d'état of sorts (Dutch parliament can disband cabinet with a "motie van wantrouwen", a "motion of distrust"). Moreover, whatever the government does doesn't matter, because parliament itself has to ratify the treaty for it come into effect. It has voted unanimously to reject ACTA, so this will not happen. You think there is a flaw in this reasoning?

        You may be right about other reasons (I don't know what they will come up with); I'd be interested to hear them. Perhaps, if the EP should vote for ACTA, the European Commission would stage some sort of "enhanced cooperation" (a coalition of the willing) with a new version of the treaty? In any case it is good to continue to fight against ACTA.

         

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      Lennart (profile), Jun 1st, 2012 @ 8:04am

      Re: Rejoice! ACTA has already been permanently vetoed for the entire EU by the Netherlands.

      The Netherlands might have rejected ACTA and effectively vetoed it for the EU, but there was a caveat. If the Commission would succeed to gain control over criminal enforcement of intellectual property from the member states, the blockade would cease to exist. The Dutch - and the Bulgarians I believe - might have killed ACTA, but it is still moving. A zombie, if you will.

      Therefore, we need to vote down ACTA on the European level. Since the Council of Ministers has already agreed to ACTA, and the Commission has signed it, the only player capable of killing the zombie once and forever - in Europe.

       

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        Cerberus (profile), Jun 1st, 2012 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re: Rejoice! ACTA has already been permanently vetoed for the entire EU by the Netherlands.

        I see, so you think the EC might try to push ACTA through by changing their (stated) take on competency in the proposal for ACTA?

        Of course we should kill ACTA in the EP, whether or not it still has a real chance. It would also give a clear sign to the rest of the world that this treaty is bad, bad.

         

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          lennart (profile), Jun 1st, 2012 @ 8:23am

          Re: Re: Re: Rejoice! ACTA has already been permanently vetoed for the entire EU by the Netherlands.

          I think the Commission has probably understood by now that ACTA is not very popular. But there is new legislation underway from the Commission called IPRED, which is intended to harmonize the rules on intellectual property. This would give them the opportunity to include criminal enforcement, getting the members states out of the loop on treaties like ACTA.

          This was explained during the workshop on ACTA in the European Parliament by the Commission's spokesperson.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2012 @ 5:59pm

      Re: Rejoice! ACTA has already been permanently vetoed for the entire EU by the Netherlands.

      It is kind of bird eats cat. Netherlands has already signed ACTA, meaning that they are expected to ratify.
      EP is making a decission on whether EU-memberstates should have its signing made valid. If EP votes no, the signatures are invalid and EU-memberstates cannot join ACTA. If EP gives consent, every countrys signature is valid and they are expected to ratify.

      Now the question becomes: What happens if some countries who signed does not ratify the treaty? Outside of EU it is one less country ratifying and less chance of ACTA pulling through. Inside EU I believe that the lack of ratification will be insignificant since parliament, commission and council will already have approved and will sign ACTA. The lack of ratifications will only really count as an indefinite delay of following the agreement.

       

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    Rottweiler, May 31st, 2012 @ 10:31pm

    But piracy!

    But piracy damnit!

    I wonder what the trolls/shils/IPmaximalists have to say now.

    Anyway, thats good to hear, although the DEVE vote is next week, and the INTA vote is the most important vote before july, while this is great, I'll celebrate when ACTA is dead and buried, then prepare for the next big threat; TPP.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:20pm

    Missed a sensational Article title

    UK Government moving towards Piracy. Wants to destroy lively hood of everyday people.

     

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      Rottweiler, Jun 1st, 2012 @ 12:13am

      Re: Missed a sensational Article title

      Yes, we pirates will raid yer houses, steal yer gold and make ye walk through the plank YAR!!!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2012 @ 1:19am

      Re: Missed a sensational Article title

      sounds as if this comment was made by a complete prat! i will, however, give you the opportunity to explain your comment and prove that you are not. please, make it brief, make it good and make it easily understood so the rest of us can comprehend you logic

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 1st, 2012 @ 1:22am

        Re: Re: Missed a sensational Article title

        Point was that the title was sane and not a sky is falling title or we are all going to die. I swear that is all that is in the news paper when I pick it up.

         

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      Cowardly Anonymous, Jun 1st, 2012 @ 6:06am

      Re: Missed a sensational Article title

      EU moving towards piracy. Resistant UK government still attempting to destroy the freedoms of everyday people. Shills can't seem to tell the difference.

       

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    Fluba, May 31st, 2012 @ 11:57pm

    Sensational Article????

    What has this got to do with the UK. This is the result of a poorly written deal that infringes on ordinary peoples lives to share and communicate with each other in privacy.And if people cannot make a living doing something they need to move on to find another income stream, I mean I would love to get paid repeatedly and forever for creating an album, but if I cant make enough money doing that, I need to work doing something where I can make money.

     

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      Rottweiler, Jun 1st, 2012 @ 12:30am

      Re: Sensational Article????

      Well, at least he didn't say that JURI, LIBE and ITRE members just want their stuff for free...

       

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    Violated (profile), Jun 1st, 2012 @ 3:08pm

    Three Strikes

    Speaking on the latest vote, Loz Kaye, leader of the Pirate Party UK, said: "Today has seen significant recommendations to reject Acta in three different EU committees. That's the kind of 'three strikes' I can get behind.

    "The European Parliament now has an historic opportunity to show it can be useful and reject Acta outright."
    BBC News

     

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