There were plenty of rumors (and leaks) earlier this year about how, even after European protests effectively killed ACTA in the EU, it was clear that some of the worst, most outrageous parts of ACTA had been written into CETA
, a similar agreement between Canada and Europe. EU officials claimed they were removing
the most controversial provisions -- but now it's been confirmed that the ridiculously misguided criminal sanctions
... had magically found their way into CETA. Given the public's response to ACTA, EU Commission officials either think the public is stupid... or just not paying attention.
The current attitude of the EU negotiators on CETA is an alarming repetition of the blatant denial of democracy of the ACTA negotiations. Despite calls from citizens and representatives, CETA remains confidential, both in the EU and in Canada. In this context of non-transparency, Philipp Dupuis, the European Commission negotiator, confirmed at a workshop held on October 10th 2012 that ACTA-like criminal sanctions were still in the CETA draft.
As Jeremie Zimmermann points out in the link above, this whole process of sneaking through protectionist IP policies in supposed "free trade" agreements needs to stop:
“The only hard evidence on which we can base our analysis suggests the worst: once again, the European Commission and the EU Member States governments are trying to impose repressive measures against cultural practices online. Broad criminal sanctions do not belong in a trade agreement. If they appear in the final CETA text, the agreement will lose all legitimacy and will have to be frontally opposed, like ACTA. This trend of sneaking repressive measures through negotiated trade agreements must stop.”
It needs to stop, but people don't realize how entrenched that process is, which is a big part of the problem.