ACTA’s Not Dead Yet: The Crucial EU Vote Approaches
What is ACTA?
The Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement is a secretive international treaty for the enforcing of new copyright and intellectual property laws. Not much is known about the actual content of the agreement, but we do know that it conflates intellectual property infringement like the production of illegal and dangerous counterfeit medicines, with citizens’ sharing of information and culture.
International Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge asserts: “the idea is to create legislation through the back door, where only rich monopoly-defending corporations get a say, against the interests of the people”.
As a result, the EFF says that ACTA raises "significant potential concerns for consumers’ privacy and civil liberties for innovation and the free flow of information on the Internet legitimate commerce and for developing countries’ ability to choose policy options that best suit their domestic priorities and level of economic development”.
Big industry in the U.S. is really pushing for this treaty, but fifty leading U.S. legal scholars recently questioned whether the agreement is even Constitutional.
So what’s new?
The pro-Internet community has been gaining some ground on this treaty in Europe. The EU Parliament will cast a very important vote on the treaty in July; if it votes against the treaty, ACTA will be effectively dead. Some recent votes in EU member states and committees suggest that the EU is leaning towards a ‘no’ vote, leading some to assume that ACTA is already dead. But this is a dangerous assumption; there are already investigations into how to get around member states who exercise their democratic right to vote ‘no’, and the European Parliament’s vote is by no means locked up.
It’s crunch time for ACTA, and it’s more important than ever to keep making noise in opposition. Read our more detailed breakdown of ACTA developments here.