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ACTA - Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement

What is ACTA?

- ACTA ensures people everywhere can continue to share non-pirated material and information on the web
- ACTA does not restrict freedom of the internet. ACTA will not censor or shut down websites.
- ACTA ensures that organised crime can be pursued when intellectual property is stolen - harming innovation, fair competition and destroying your jobs
- ACTA is not about how we use the internet in our everyday lives.
- ACTA allows people to continue using their social networks such as Twitter and Facebook just as they have in the past – no change.
- Computers, iPads or iPhones will not be checked or monitored – ACTA is not Big Brother.

Why is ACTA not SOPA?

SOPA is a US draft law that would change US legislation. ACTA does not require any EU law changes. Anything you can do legally today is still legal after the ratification of ACTA.
ACTA does not foresee cutting off internet access to anyone.

So why does the EU support ACTA?

- Because ACTA ensures the EU's already high standard of protection for intellectual property goes global - protecting jobs in Europe.
- Because Europe is losing €8 billion annually through counterfeit goods flooding our market.

More information on ACTA:

http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2012/january/tradoc_148964.pdf
http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2011/may/tradoc_147937.pdf
http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2012/january/tradoc_148963.pdf
http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2010/october/tradoc_146792.pdf
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96 comments
 
The video is actually misleading.

At 1min 19sec it claims IP is not actually defined in ACTA. If you read the ACTA agreement, it states as follows: intellectual property refers to all categories of intellectual property that are the subject of Sections 1 through 7 of Part II of the TRIPS Agreement; which has been the universally accepted definition since 1994. The TRIPS Agreement can be found at http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/t_agm0_e.htm

At 1min 31sec, it claims that ACTA agreement is "very complex and hard to grasp". The ACTA agreement is actually in plain English and is available in the second pdf listed above.
 
On Intellectual Property, please refer to the following - as it applies to Europe - http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/trade-topics/intellectual-property/

As the title of the agreement states, it is an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The definition of Counterfeit in the ACTA agreement, is:

counterfeit trademark goods means any goods, including packaging, bearing without authorization a trademark which is identical to the trademark validly registered in respect of such goods, or which cannot be distinguished in its essential aspects from such a trademark, and which thereby infringes the rights of the owner of the trademark in question under the law of the country in which the procedures set forth in Chapter II (Legal Framework for Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights) are invoked;
 
I am unable to comment on the validity of the video as i hadn't made it i only stumbled upon it the other day. I think many people are un-easy with this because of hearing about SOPA in America. I think their needs to be some debate on this before its signed. I myself haven't read all the details yet so i can't make my own opinion yet. but i have heard a few conflicting ideas and opinions on the affect this will have on the internet.
 
Fair call +Henry James Ball. Within the European Union, ACTA will simply enforce existing EU laws that have been in place for a number of years.

Across the globe, people and companies have been copying goods and re-selling them. The objective of ACTA is to actually crack down on these people and companies. An example of how ACTA would operate is someone taking an iPad, reproducing it and re-selling it as an Apple iPad - when in reality it isn't.
 
+European Union thank you for the simplification in your last comment, much appreciated!
Just out of curiosity your profile describes you as "semi-official" how so ?
 
The page was originally set up by a G+er, but is now jointly administered by the EU. We haven't sought "Google authentication" [aka the tick next to the name] at this stage, thus "semi-official".
 
ahhh right fair play, well hello to the people that helped my home city become what it is today with all the funding you've given us over the last decade. :-) its very much appreciated.
 
First of all I'm not from Europe and I see this somehow as a Global Bill knowing that its not only you guys (European Union) are on to this. So does the negotiating parties such as the United States, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Australia and many more countries are on to this. (As per +Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement)

Please explain to us that this won't be similar to SOPA because of Intellectual Properties & Copyright contents that are found in the net and how will it affect business industries. Thank you!
 
Why do artists and consumers must submit to the laws of the private industry without any open debate? ...at the expense of freedom of speech that allows precisely to give free rein to creativity and to young talents.
Stop saying that ACTA is made for the people, for our security, for our rights... In fact, ACTA enforces repressive laws on the Internet and its content, and it only benefits a minority already well enough rich. It not serves creativity, it not serves the young talents and art, it not serves the people who just wants FREEDOM !!!
ACTA just serves the "1%" who already have our money, our freedom of speech and our democracy in their hands, but the private industry and gouvernments should think of a new vision of the "copyright" cause it's really not appropriated to our génération and for technologies of today.
The solution is not in repressive laws ! ...the solution is a new model of copyright that could serve artists and freedom of expression for all, but not especially the private indutry !

And sorry for my english (I do my best).
 
Wow. The EC finally publishes information on ACTA here, but of course only after the document was signed.

The Commission says it has no impact?
There has never been a fair balance test by the EC in order to evaluate that the restrictions ACTA makes do not violate fundmental rights. But there are independent ones (Douwe Korff & Ian Brown opinion). The result? How surprisingly: ACTA is manifestly incompatible with those fundamental rights.

The EC tried to negotiate this document in absolute secrecy, with organizations of rights-holders being the only NGOs asked for their input (or even being allowed to see draft documents). The civil society was completely barred from this process, even the EP was. The EC and the ACTA group repeatedly released preliminary summaries which did not contain correct information. The EC tried to diminish the influence of the European Parliament within this process, first banning it from even reading the drafts and only finally allowing MEPs to see it - in a secured area, forbidden to take notes. Independent experts for the EP were not allowed to see the document, thus the parliament had no chance to get an independent assessment.

Experts across Europe are in accord with the statement that ACTA violates the acquis, violates fundamental rights, is incompatible (and thus would require changes) to existing European legislation and other international covenants (including such unimportant ones like the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).

The complete document, beginning with its negotiations in pure secrecy, with misinformation of the public during those negotiations and the numerous attempts by the EC to block the public from getting independent evaluations of this text, is unacceptable for a free society.
 
+Ralf Böhle , we presume you read the attachments in the original post [just a small collection amongst all the documents that are freely available via the EU's official website and via a search on Google]?
 
Where can I find the official translation of ACTA to estonian?
 
I'm from EU and I'm Portuguese, so I will address my post in my native language.
O problema da União Europeia, tal como já foi referido, é que querem sempre passar a ideia que se preocupam com os seus cidadãos e depois chegam à hora de legislar e é sempre a mesma palhaçada que se verifica nos outros países, quem manda são os lobbies e as opiniões do povo não interessam para nada. Se se preocupassem mais em criar leis e directrizes que responsabilizem quem, de facto, prejudica gravemente os estados membros, como por exemplo ex-governantes europeus ou de um determinado país por gestão ruinosa de fundos, por não promoverem a inovação, etc em vez de tentarem quebrar as correntes sempre através da penalização dos mais fracos, poderíamos ser uma união/federação diferente, para melhor. Infelizmente a classe política não tem interesse em proporcionar meios e leis para apurar e julgar os responsáveis políticos que mais não fazem do que alimentar também eles os seus lobbies.
De salvaguardar também a capacidade que tiveram de se manterem o mais calados possível até o acordo ACTA ser assinado, vindo depois tentar acalmar as águas quando já tudo estava consumado usando os mesmo chavões de sempre: "é para o bem dos cidadãos", "estamos a proteger os vossos interesses". O problema é que, tal como já foi referido por +Ralf Böhle anteriormente, o ACTA não vai sequer de encontro aos direitos fundamentais que nos assistem como cidadãos, mas obviamente que a UE vai desvalorizar os estudos que suportem essa opinião e vai tentar fazer passar a ideia que os pessoas estão a ser mal guiadas e até nem sei se a médio prazo não encontrará alguém dito "independente" a quem queiram encomendar um estudo para dizer o inverso e voltar a lançar um cobertor por cima do assunto.
Sinceramente, o projecto Europeu é algo que faz sentido (algum) no papel, mas depois quando se aplica é mais do mesmo, o que está mal a uma pequena escala simplesmente é ampliado e tornado ainda pior, o que está bem tem tendência a ser alterado para pior porque os interesses de quem comanda os fantoches que nos governam também se multiplicam com o multiplicar da escala.
Apenas a minha opinião, tenham todos um bom dia.
Translate
 
I'm from the EU and I am Austrian, I will post in English to not excluding the majority from the discussion ;)
+European Union What do you say about the points raised here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/01/23/if-you-thought-sopa-was-bad-just-wait-until-you-meet-acta/ and in other articles?
Also is the document here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2011/may/tradoc_147937.pdf
the full, actual ACTA agreement text in its current version that will actually be signed (or already has been signed by some parties) or is this just some kind of summary?

My biggest worry about ACTA is the possibilities that it creates for enforcing patents (IP) on plants, especially seeds. Personally I think it is a shame that such patents have even been granted in the first place!
 
It is in the news just now that:

The EU ACTA chief has resigned, saying, 'This agreement might have major consequences on citizens' lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.'
(http://activepolitic.com:82/News/2012-01-26d/EU_ACTA_chief_resigns_in_disgust_over_disrespect_at_citizens.html)

Can someone comment on this? Is it true? The original website is currently down because of too many concurrent accesses.
 
Are there any other questions regarding ACTA? If you have, please ask them and we'll answer them in the next couple of days. Also, the above pdfs do provide information on ACTA and the EU, which are helpful in answering some of your questions.

We would ask that all comments and questions do relate to ACTA [some comments have been caught by Google+'s spam filter which have related to inappropriate subjects like porn, dating etc - these will and are deleted].
 
+European Union Yes.

Why ACTA tries to aim at the users not the people providing the illegal information?

Why is ACTA not translated to all languages of the members of the European Union. In the European Union every law passing legislation has to be available translated in every language of an EU-country. There is no e.g. German version.
Understanding English is one thing but reading a legislative text is different. Do you expect people to raise their hand and ask for the translation of a sentence?

Why ACTA has been negotiated secretly for 2 years which is against the principles of transparency?

Do you even listen to those 850'000 people who have signed a petition against ACTA?
http://www.avaaz.org/de/eu_save_the_internet_spread/

Many american politicians see the agreement as not allying. The US-administration has already signed ACTA. However normally a law that is binding for US companies or citizen has to be agreed by both the US administration and the House of Representatives. Then the president signs. In this case the senate has never been questioned about ACTA.
So how could ACTA possibly be valid for the USA? The answer was that the government has been doing such things before with IP agreements where the senate hasn't been asked about. But: while this is right and those agreements haven't been allying ACTA according to the text is allying.
Explanation?

Please excuse any errors in English.
 
+European Union, in what skewed version of reality do you live where you think it is necessary to so severely criminalize such benign acts as sharing a few songs with your friends / family, or copying a DVD you legally own onto a portable media player? Surely there are more pressing matters which demand your attention.
 
+European Union Yes, there are further questions concerning ACTA:
When will the full text, including protocol notes (which are obviously required in order to interpret the text correctly), made public?
Why were only industry associations that could be expected to support ACTAs measures unanimously asked to provide input during the negotiations? (I am not talking about the stakeholder conferences, I am talking about direct involvement of such "consultants").
Why didn't the EC allow MEPs to read and debate the text openly during the negotiations? Why did the EC allow MEPs to read the text only after massive pressure by the public and EP in secure rooms without the possibility to take notes, so that the EP could not get assessments by independent experts? ACTA isn't a treaty for the war against terror, its a "simple" trade agreement.
Does the European Union believe that international treaties between democracies should be negotiated in complete secrecy, without even informing the public about the negotiations (as it was done with ACTA - even the minimal public information provided by the negotiators was only released after massive public pressure)?
Why is the Doha Declaration - made in order to protect the access of "third world" countries to essential medicines - only mentioned once in the complete text of ACTA - of course in the only part that is non-binding, the preamble?
Why is there no protection of citizens against unwarranted invasions of their privacy in ACTA, either by states or by civil contracts?
Why were there no fair balance tests done by the EC prior to signing the treaty?
Why were demands made by the European Parliament ignored by the EC's negotiators?
How is the EC explaining that most independent experts on IP agree that ACTA is simply wrong and flawed?

What is the answer of the European Commission against the major allegations ("no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament's demands") made in the statement of Mr. Kader Arif, MEP, INTA rapporteur for ACTA? Obviously, if the EC would have "scrupulously followed" the regulations on informing the parliament as it states, how could a significant count of MEPs feel otherwise?

And finally: The EC consistently states that ACTA does not require any change to European law and the law of EU member states. So: Why does the EU need to sign this treaty, as it is obviously worthless? Where is this guarantee (no change to law in Europe) expressed in a binding, written manner, in order to protect EU citizens from "Oops, yes we said that it won't require any changes, but we've realized now that it in fact does...".
 
I would like to know exactly how ACTA plays in respect of possible future re-openings to allow software patents in Europe.

I would like to know why the process was not transparent from the beginning.

I would like to know why the main responsible for conducting the process resigned recently in protest.

I would like to know how exactly where ACTA stands in the use of DRM to "protect" copyright holders. DRM is nothing but trouble, and often prevents users from use legitimately-bought goods.

The above links were not enough to clear up all of these issues.
 
"ACTA will not censor or shut down websites."

That one was a good joke.

@Matteo Settenvini The EU is pushing for software patents via the Central Patent Court (the Unitary Patent), the reason why the previous software patent directive was rejected. It is easier to validate software patents by not re-discussing it, a central court run by patent judges will be enough to make software patents valid in Europe, following the awful practice of the European Patent Office to grant thousands of them.
 
Why European citizens should be bound by other measures that favor only brands companies? Have been calculated costs already incurred by citizens to strengthen the existing anti-counterfeiting rules (I think of the tax to subsidize SIAE in Italy), as these will increase with ACTA, and how are estimated that € 8 billion of loss? How does ACTA stands with software patents so much criticized in the USA and still illegal in Europe?
Sorry for my bad English.
 
"organised crime can be pursued when intellectual property is stolen" - stolen, really. Surely what they need is better back-ups. But seriously how can we take people seriously when they make this kind of daft mistake in trying to explain themselves.

All I see in ACTA is more of what was in the EU Copyright Directive, except the rights holders have tried to side step democratic processes even more than last time.
 
Some questions:
1) What do you mean when you say "pirated material" (or the opposite non-pirated material)?
and
Precisely when you say "material" are you referring to concrete "material" things (such as a car a phone and other manufactured products) or are you referrig also to immaterial things (such as a bit copy of an mp3 a bit copy of a book, i.e. the "divina commedia" and so on)?
Please take note that I'm saying "bit copy" or "copy" because in these fields there is no "original" or "authentic" things (you and no one in the world have the "original" Dante's work and you and no one in the world have the "original performance" of jim morrison even if you have attended at the performance because even jim morrison cannot replicate it exactly) so all that you may have is a copy.
Is ACTA about protecting these kind of "immaterial copies" (or more exactly these "immaterials materials")?

and

2) When you say "pirated" are you referring to activities of the pirates? such as the criminal activities of assaulting the ships near somalia and near the persian gulf?

3) when you say "stolen" are you ignoring that a copy is not properly a "stolen material good" (simply because the original owner continue to own the "original" material and the copy have no effects on the "owner materials") ?

4) Can you say to us why the so called "intellectual property" needs special protection and ACTA and the others similar treaty cover some special interest and privilegies of a small amount of industries giving them a specific and special status and legislation that privileges them among the others economic and human activities?

5) In the ACTA treaty I've found the term phonogram (among many others ambiguous terms) are you legitimate in considering some digitally encoded sequence of bits "scrambled or not" a "phonogram" or a similar thing?
Really?
:-)
And if the answer is (as I suppose YES) how can you establish the proof that any eventually "unscrambled" sequence of bits is (or not of course) a copy of what?

6) Are you supposing that the giudges in the european union have the tecnological competence and knowledge enabling them to interpret exactly if a bit sequence is a "stolen copy" and what is precisely the original one and who is the "original owner" ?

7) When you say that "Europe is losing €8 billion annually through counterfeit goods" who gived you that data?

8) When you say "ACTA does not require any EU law changes" are you referring to any law in anyone of the EU states?
Really?
:-)

9) Can you please explain how (as an EU citizen) I will enjoy from the benefits and advantages of this treaty in my everiday life?

10) Are you aware that the large majority of the filings for patent at the EPO (the europen patent office) are from non EU countries and notably from the U.S. ?

11) Do you think that the ACTA treaty give some competitive advantage to the EU industry, economy or citizens over the others non EU countries (or even over the countries that have not signed the treaty) and exactly what kind of competitive advantage?

12) Why some companies may have some special privileged laws and protected revenues (i.e. such as in italy a public collecting company S.I.A.E. or colleting taxes from the sales of the digital memories )?
And how this is a fair competiton?
And why the others economic activities cannot see this fact as a discriminating regime?

13) Can you say how a brainless company can have a property that is defined as intellectual property ?

14) Can you say how an individual (the only one that have a real brain) can alienate from itself a so called intellectual property and (eventually) sell it to some entity that have not individual brain but only have economics and impersonal interest (nothing of intellectual) like a company or any non individual economic activity?

15) Can you say why if you sell a so called good or service directly connected to the so called intellectual property you can sell it in infinite quantities potentially without limits and no direct production effort related to these quantities?
Is this really fair competion?
Can you recognize any other profitable economic activity not related to the so called intellectual property with this particularity?
Is there really a special need to protect this kind of activity in the public interest?

Thank you
 
Is the European Union concerned about the secrecy of the early drafts of ACTA? Do you have any reason to be worried about the preparatory work of the treaty and the circumstances of its conclusion?
 
Can you please, tell me how ACTA will encure people to share non-pirated material and information. What action will be taken against faulty takedowns?
ACTA will cause the internet to be censored, since it will hold the ISP liable for what the users are doing! No, ISP will dare to provide a non-censored Internet connection.
ACTA is very much about how we use the internet, since it will cause the ISP to censor the web. And the users may be disconnected from the Internet without being convicted of anything!

This whole post is just a big propaganda lie.
 
Dear all,

The EU supports ACTA because it ensures that the EU's already high standard of protection for intellectual property goes global - protecting jobs in Europe. Europe is losing €8 billion annually through counterfeit goods flooding our market.

ACTA is not about checking or monitoring private communication on the internet and it will not censor websites. It is not about how individual citizens use the internet. It will not censor websites.

It is not about how individual citizens use the internet.It will not lead to limitations of fundamental rights (e.g. control of laptops of air passengers at borders, monitoring of internet traffic).

The respect of fundamental rights such as privacy, freedom of expression and data protection is expressively mentioned as a basic principle of the agreement.ACTA will not change the existing EU legislation.

ACTA does not create new Intellectual Property Rights, but concerns procedures and measures to enforce existing rights and to act against large scale infringements, often pursued by criminal organisations.

Please have a look at the dedicated European Commission website on ACTA http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/trade-topics/intellectual-property/anti-counterfeiting/ where you will also find links to further information.
//Anne
 
Hi,
When you argue that ACTA wont affect EU-law - do you exclude member state law then?
Because I know that Swedish trademark law have to change to conform with ACTA according to our justice department.

Another issue I have is that ACTA speaks about "fair process" rather than "fair trial" and "due process" as in fundamental rights.
I interpret it as less checks and balances in relation to take downs or seizures in a digital environment. Am I wrong here?

I am also very concerned about the patent parts in relation to the newly EU-independent patent court, like an EPO++ that would serve its masters with broad patents just killing innovation. EPO is already pushing more than 1000 confirmed business method patents yearly, that should be invalid in EPC, just like many more software patents. The innovation climate is simply terrifying. In the EU-combo of patentcourt + ACTA we would have no supreme court or political power to help innovation.

/jonas bosson, software designer.
 
Why do you go public on Google+ if you don't intend to answer the questions posted by the citizens? It is the vagueness of the final draft, as opposed to the leaked information about the earlier drafts, that is the biggest concern.
 
+Malin The European Union page is not an official EU presence. It has been set up by volunteers and is syndicating content from EU websites.

Those of you who are on Twitter can chat today as from 3PM CET with Commissioner Neelie Kroes and ask your questions on ACTA. Her handle is @NeelieKroesEU and the hashtag is #AskNeelie.

http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23AskNeelie
//Anne
 
ACTA ensures people everywhere can continue to share non-pirated material and information on the web

Isn't there a problem with this? When someone shares his original content with me, I receive it un-pirated. But when I share it further without written permission, I am sharing pirated things. As I don't have the right to share it. Although he might agree with me sharing it, and he might find it irritating when I keep asking if I can share it.
 
It is interesting that this presence in G+ is promoting ACTA which has not yet been ratified by the European Parliament. Also, the information given is not neutral, but gives a one-sided view of ACTA as the saviour of European jobs and industries. It is strange that you do not seem to acknowledge the many shortcomings of ACTA which are also well-documented in the assessment commissioned by the European Parliament:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/INTA/studiesdownload.html?languageDocument=EN&file=43731
 
How does ACTA work to balance the powers of the copyright holder with that of the consumer? If content producers and copyright holders argue that copyright infringement hurts profits and demand more strict control of media and sharing, couldn't we in turn legislate: i) that digitally distributable media must have accessible online services to accompany physical brick-and-mortar stores, and ii) that all art and creative work become Free (as in both beer and speech) after a certain profit/cost ratio has been demonstrated? This would likely decrease copyright infringement while at the same time providing predictable income to media companies who would also have to work actively to introduce new art instead of feeding indefinitely on success in the past.
 
I wish for someone to do some sober work on the numbers, when it comes to buying songs on iTunes or downloading them from the pirate bay, I would like to have calculations on how many people of the population of 7 billion+ that are actually financially suited, to buy the songs from iTunes and also a relevant philosophical paper stating the difference between the pirate bay and our local library.

If the the goal for anti piracy measures is to have all users pay for the product, I assume sober pricing will have to be enforced, opposed to chasing those 5-10% that will copy regardless of cost; I assume of them to believe they are digging in the dirt making archeological findings, while the other half finds it to be the simplest way to obtain the music, i e.
 
+European Commission You say "ACTA is not about checking or monitoring private communication on the internet..." but if acta says that providers must provide information about their users that do piracy. How do they do that? Ofcourse scanning your data, and if so chats like facebook etc. are all transmitted unsecure. So do you support companies to scan our traffic??
+European Union You say "As the title of the agreement states, it is an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement." First sentence on Wikipedia: To counterfeit means to illegally imitate something. But copies of a dvd aren't a imitate they are a copy and the original are still there.
And why doesn't get the public the information about this (in mass media)???
+European Union The point that sets me up at most is the really undemocratic way!! The people that will vote about acta aren't ellected by the public. Why isn't it in the news? I only see it on google+ and blogs. This freaks me out! Out of 10 friends I asked about acta only 1 really knows about it. But it is in media everywhere when +Angelina Jolie adobts a new child ....
 
Why? Why we always need to copy America? Thanks god we are not american so please! please! We have to find our personal idea of "legality" and "copyright".
 
+European Union If you could answer how having ACTA signed changes anything from what we have currently? Copyright is covered by at least two global agreements already, and EU has Union‐wide trademarks.

Are counterfeit goods really lost money for the EU? Citizens can buy products for cheaper prices, surely that’s a good thing for the people.

Would it not be more beneficial to focus on improved product standards globally to reduce toxic chemical use?
 
If you are genuinely interested in engaging with the public on ACTA, rather than trying to justify EU support for the treaty sorry "Trade Agreement", why frame your initial post in such controversial and confrontational tones?

Of course counterfeiting costs the economy, and of course in a knowledge economy there is a need to facilitate the sale and trade of intellectual property. But there is a paradox: I call it the Knowledge Economy Paradox - where strong IP enforcement actually hampers innovation.

That is why there is a time limit on e.g. patents, of 20 years. After 20 years, the idea enters the public domain. But with copyright this is 70 years, or sometimes life of the author PLUS 70 years. Clearly when e.g. software is being used under copyright in important machinery, such as medical equipment, there is a down side to providing a monopoly on copyright grounds on this machinery for potentially over a 100 years.

Please go back to the drawing board and come up with an intellectual property system fit for the digital economy before deciding how to enforce it. Also please stop listening to the disproportionate voice of one industry reliant on copyright - the entertainment industry - and start listening to all stakeholders, including software companies who need to protect their works, software companies who want to re-use copyrighted works, and internet companies who want to build business models distributing copyright works in a way the consumer is calling for.
 
Dear +European Union
Question: Why is important news on ACTA not available on any news-station?
Second question: Why is there so much secrecy with ACTA involved?
Looking forward to your response!
 
Is copyright more important than privacy rights? Will we still have public domain with the increased protection of DRM (I know it is already in the law but now it will be in an international treaty)? What measures will be taken to ensure that no signatories party uses ACTA as excuse to prosecute political opponents? Why was the treaty negotiated in secret and without earing the general public?
 
+Malin Christersson it was? I ran through it, most of the questions she did not respond on at all... Or am I missing something major?
 
How can something, developed in secret under "national security" (wait..i thought its about protecting some companies...is THAT such an important national security?) be even considered to get signed by someone calling himself democratic?
Oh yes i forgot. Democratic is the last of all things the EU is.
 
You know what I think? ACTA and SOPA were both initiated by the media industries. Why else would they show up nearly at the same time, with alike aims? Stop fooling us, +European Union , you've been bought! (And I'm saying that as a citizen of the EU, I'm embarrassed!)
 
+Steve Göhre Its no secret companies worked on acta together with the countries..but hey! The Money must flow (dune reference).
 
+Asumi Grünthaler the European Commission is not democratic but we still can hope that European Parliament will do their job by representing us (and in this case they appear to be doing it well). If you still didn't contact your EuroMPs you should do it ASAP and tell them what you think about ACTA, as only they can stop it now.
 
+Asumi Grünthaler Protecting the "economic well-being" of a country has already crept into national security legislation. See S.5(2)(c) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act in the UK, amongst others. It's not even "economic stability". The phrase "well-being" opens up the use of terror laws to promote economic growth...
 
+James Firth I can understand that economic well being is important for a state to exist..but..this is all about a very small part of our all economy..and it isnt even one that is so big.
So why dear +European Union why is it that this small part of our economy can has so much influence that it can even achieve to get our rights cut back?
 
+Tom Potap, could you please limit yourself to stating facts politely? That way all those arguing against ACTA can still be perceived as mature folk engaging in constructive dialog. Cheers!
 
On transparency of the negotiation process:

- The Commission negotiators continuously informed the public about the objectives and general thrust of the negotiations, since the first round (June 2008).

- Summary reports were issued after every negotiation round. Since April 2010, the negotiating text that was being discussed, has been released. This and other relevant information are available at DG Trade website: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/trade-topics/intellectual-property/anti-counterfeiting/

- Furthermore, the Commission organised four stakeholder conferences on ACTA (the first one took place on 23 June 2008, i.e. a few days before the first round of negotiations and the following ones respectively on 21 April 2009, 22 March 2010 and 25 January 2011, in Brussels) which were open to all - citizens, industry, NGOs and press. Our negotiating partners, inter alia the US, Switzerland, Australia and Canada, have taken similar steps.

- Also in the last four rounds of negotiations (Wellington, Luzern, Washington and Tokyo), the negotiators have met and extensively debriefed NGOs, academia and political parties who took the time to come for these debriefing discussions.

- During the negotiations, the Commission's negotiators shared the successive versions of the negotiated text with the Members of the INTA Committee of the EP, including Mr Kader ARIF, who was until early December 2011 coordinator of the S&D MEPs in the INTA Committee.

- Because of the alleged impact of ACTA for civil liberties, at the request of the European Parliament, the European Commission convinced the other negotiating parties to ACTA to release publicly the last two preliminary versions of the text, contrary to the practice of international agreements in the course of negotiations.

- In addition to providing the negotiating documents to the INTA Committee, Commissioner De Gucht has participated in three plenary debates. The Commission has formally replied to several dozens of written and oral questions, to two Recommendations and one Declaration of the European Parliament. Commission services have provided several dedicated briefings to interested Members of the European Parliament on all aspects of the negotiations after the various negotiating rounds. In most, if not all meetings, Mr Kader Arif was present.

- During the negotiations, the Commission scrupulously complied its information and transparency obligations viz. the European Parliament, in accordance with the Lisbon Treaty and the revised Framework Agreement between Parliament and Commission.

- The Commission took the comments of the European Parliament on board as much as is possible in the context of an international treaty negotiated with a dozen other countries.

- Under the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament cannot decide whether it gives its consent to an international agreement untilit has been signed. The signature is therefore indispensible for the EuropeanParliament to exercise its democratic rights.

- All MEPs can now make up their mind on the basis ofthe actual text of the agreement. This will happen in full transparency andhence respect for democracy.
 
On your internet freedom:

- ACTA is not about checking or monitoring private ipods, laptops, emails and phone calls. It will not censor websites. It's not about your shared files on Facebook. This is not about how individual citizens use the internet.

- ACTA is not the EU's SOPA or PIPA (US' "Stop Online Piracy Act" and "Protect Intellectual Property Act"). ACTA does not foresee any rules to cut the access to citizens to the internet or to introduce censorship of websites, unlike the proposals discussed in recent days in the US (SOPA/PIPA). There is no link between ACTA and SOPA/PIPA.

- When it comes to the internet, ACTA sets a new international standard, based on the EU system. The internet is the most global and open market for music, films, books and software, but also for millions of counterfeit goods. So far there is virtually no international standard defined to address the large-scale infringements for such goods, because the TRIPS agreement was concluded at a time (1994) when the internet was still in its infancy. ACTA, for the first time, creates a minimal level of harmonisation and transparency for the rules applicable to such infringements.
 
+European Union Isnt that a bit..well...ofc you can say ACTA itself doesnt block sites or content and people will not cut off the internet. But by making it possible that access and content provider can be sued for content people will upload you will force THEM to censor and spy and block people so they dont get sued out of buisiness.
I dont buy it so far.
But maybe i didnt understand a major point.
 
What ACTA really is about:

- ACTA targets large-scale and organised infringements of intellectual property. EX: an author who is confronted with pirated copies of his book outside the EU, or a fashion company that finds counterfeits of the clothes its ells: ACTA will harmonise the rules that lay out how they can react in such acase.

- Everybody who holds an intellectual property right, from the wine producer to the owner of entertainment software, will be able to count on efficient and broadly common rules regarding the way they can complain with the authorities and how his complaint is dealt with. So ACTA does something about the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.

- The EU's national customs authorities have registered that counterfeit goods entering the EU have tripled between 2005 and 2010. Studies show that losses caused by counterfeiting and piracy could reduce EU GDP by EUR 8billion annually. In other words: infringements against intellectual property destroy jobs, harm competitiveness and create barriers to innovation. Counterfeiting and piracy undermine innovation, which is key to economic growth.

- Counterfeiting also generates large profits for organised crime groups and distorts the market by encouraging illicit practices within businesses.

- We need to do somethingabout this. Intellectual property is the raw material of Europe. We have to protect innovations, creativity and brands to preserve our competitiveness world-wide.
 
Why copyright isn't a global problem. If you work for the EU and are reading this, follow this link to my latest blog. I use three famous English writers to highlight the inherent dangers in creating a global copyright jurisdiction. Will overseas entities applying to shut down content on EU ISPs give a stuff about the public domain?

Shrinking the public domain: Animal Farm, 1984 and how linking to free ebooks legal in one country could get you extradited
http://www.slightlyrightofcentre.com/2012/01/shrinking-public-domain-animal-farm.html
 
I don't care even if ACTA would be the second coming of Jesus. The way the negotiations and voting has been handled (how the hell are the agriculture ministers the ones who got to aprove the contract for +European Commission?!) makes me want to do everything to destroy it.

You are representing us, the people. If ACTA is as good as you say it is, why have you been afraid to talk about it in public? Why didn't you do the negotiations through WTO?

This is not democracy. This is not what Europe and EU is all about. And you should be ashamed of yourself, +European Union
 
+European Union +European Commission First, I'd like to thank you for trying to get in a conversation with the public about this topic.

Unfortunately, you do in most cases only re-post information already published on sites like the one of DG Trade and don't really answer questions. As the public obviously is not satisfied with those statements, this decision is not supporting any discussion.

Especially concerning the transparency of the negotiation process:
The Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union states in Article 218, paragraph 10: "The European Parliament shall be immediately and fully informed at all stages of the procedure." At latest since December 12th 2009 (when the Treaty of Lisbon came into effect), the EC would have been obliged to inform the parliament immediately and complete. How is it possible - if the EC followed those rules - that the parliament adopted a resolution in March 2010 reminding the EC about the rules the treaties it should be guarding with 633:13 votes? Obviously, the only democratically elected representatives do not believe that the EC "scrupulously followed" (quote of DG Trade website) Article 218...
The german Bundesrat (the upper house of parliament) adopted another resolution on April, 14th, 2010, reinforcing the doubts of the March, 10th EP resolution concerning transparency. Additionally, it questions why ACTA negotiations were not done within the established international communities for IP protection - WIPO and WTO. (And thats a question I'd like to pass over to +European Commission).
There are several other resolutions and motions by parliaments in the EU concerning the lack of transparency. I found an interesting article about an information session hosted by the EC on 12 July 2010, that was in effect secret (as MEPs were not allowed to disclose any information that they received in that meeting). Indeed, very transparent, regarding that the EC published a draft (obviously only after this massive pressure by parlamentarians) in May 2010.

If several parliaments repeatedly raised questions about the transparency of the negotiation process, how does this support your statement that the rules about information disclosure had been "scrupulously followed"?

And finally - although there was no consilium representative here: how is it possible, as +Juho P.E. Salo asked, that the agriculture ministers agree to a trade treaty? It seems they're specialists if civil rights are concerned, as they've voted on anti-terror rules before (and if I remember correctly, also on data retention)...
 
Question:

IF THE CITIZENS OF EUROPEAN UNION DO NOT WISH FOR THEIR REPRESENTATIVE TO SIGN ACTA, WILL YOU DO IT ANYWAY JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU KNOW BETTER ?
 
Sorry, but this time I will write in french :

ACTA est un SCANDALE !!! ...et l'Union Européenne est une DICTATURE !!!
- l'UE refuse le droit de vote aux citoyens endettés ! (mais de quel droit ?!!!)
- l'UE impose ses dirigeant au sein des gouvernements endettés ! (mais pour qui vous prenez-vous ?!!!)
...et bien sur, l'endettement est piloté par cette même UE qui nous impose des plans d'austérité !!!
Vous êtes des assassins de la démocratie !

Arrêter de vous moquez de nous, et libérez tous ces pays que vous détenez en otage politique et financier !

La France ne se laissera pas faire, croyez-nous !!! On saura se dresser face à votre dictature machiavélique, et nous n'accepterons JAMAIS vos décisions sans que nos citoyens n'aient donné leur avis !!!
L'Euro est déjà mort, et l'UE que VOUS avez construit (sans nous, les Peuples de cette Europe) est déjà morte aussi !

Oui nous voulons TOUS une coopération européenne (et mondiale même, pour plus d'humanité)... mais ce n'est pas aux multinationales ou aux marchés privés de nous imposer leur vision de l'Europe !
Ce sont les Peuples Européens qui doivent construire cette Europe entre eux, ce n'est pas aux Banksters de le faire pour nous !!!
Translate
 
+Ionel Ghidarcea The text presented here by the +European Union , is phrased like I would phrase it if I was the +European Commission . If I was the European Parliament, I would probably bring up some of the criticism that the European Parliament has had against the secrecy around ACTA over the years.
 
+European Commission how can we believe in anything you say if the whole discussion starts from the point that actual copyright laws really protect innovation and intellectual industries? The parallelism you made between wine or dresses (material) and intellectual products (immaterial) highlights the idea that the whole discussion is misleading if the current legislation is not discussed in first place... Are we legitimated to suspect that software patents will be next step? In the vision you continue suggesting us, what is the difference between an algorithm and a piece of cheese, a dress or a car? If you do not get this first, unfortunately anything you say cannot be taken seriously.
 
This is a good time for everyone to realize that we are not represented, we are ruled, they don't seek our well, they seek their supportive companies' well.

Here is a link for you all. Listen to him carefully and tell me if this applies to us all TODAY.

LINK: Charlie Chaplin final speech in The Great Dictator

Enjoy! :)
 
Dear all,

Thanks for your reactions, be assured that we are aware of your protests.

Unfortunately all I have at the moment are the official documents and "Lines to take" and since I do not work in DG Trade or have been involved in the negociation process it is difficult for me to answer your very detailed questions, so I am obliged to stick to what is already published. I am meeting with colleagues in DG Trade and the spokesperson this afternoon and will suggest them to come and discuss with you here.

The spokesperson for Trade is on Twitter, his handle is @EUJohnClancy.

Thanks for your patience,
Anne Christensen
DG Communication - Europa Webteam
 
One thing I rarely see discussed about ACTA is the fact that it will make it illegal to circumvent copy protection. This means that it will be illegal to digitize a DVD or BD to view it on your Ipad or store it on your mediabox at home. It will also make it illegal to view DVD or BD on any computer that runs Linux. It will make it illegal to read e-books on a lot of devices, or listen to many audio books on your ipod or phone.
 
You (and ACTA in general) keep confounding counterfeiting with digital piracy: they are completely different. Counterfeit medicines or aircraft parts are of course a problem, and need dealing with; but digital piracy has no such knock-on effects for health and safety.

Moreover there is no evidence whatsoever that organised crime is involved with digital piracy - recent research shows just how unjustified that claim is:http://piracy.ssrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Does-Crime-Pay.pdf

ACTA is fundamentally dishonest because it uses arguments against counterfeiting to attack copyright infringement; it would have been far more honest to produce two treaties - one against counterfeiting, the other against online copyright infringement. They would have been very different, and much more effective. Instead, lobbying from the copyright industries during secret negotiations has produced a treaty that is fundamentally flawed, unjust and unworkable.
 
The way it was written, and the way it is being pushed through, are both contemptible.
 
+Petter Karkea DG Trade has conducted several hearings in relation to enforcement of IPR. You can find detailed information here: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/consultations/

Public Hearing on the protection and enforcement of IPR in third countries: Completed 29/04/2011
Survey on IPR protection and enforcement in third countries: Completed 31/12/2010

For previous documents and surveys, see here: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/trade-topics/intellectual-property/enforcement/
//Anne
 
I now see that this is not even the official page of the European Union. I wonder how much you guys are getting payed to promote ACTA.

Even the EU is ruled by companies!

We're screwed..
 
If the EU can make itself relevant for the man in the street, then it has a chance of survival. Else it will be increasingly seen as taxation without representation. That is a luxury in an era of austerity. ACTA appears as a luxury for content owners.
 
Dear +European Commission By following links on your web site, I have tried to find the study/studies that support your claim "Because Europe is losing €8 billion annually through counterfeit". But I cannot find anything except MEMO/11/506. Could you please provide a link to the study/studies where this estimate is made.
 
Here are a few additional suggestions for how to balance the power between the consumer and the copyright holder: iii) if copyright infringement is a global issue requiring trade agreements among many nations to deal with, lets also acknowledge that there is a global market and abolish all region coding and locks in media such as games and movies; iv) to encourage quick official release of media in all countries and reduce the time when only infringing versions are available for consumption, make it so that downloading and sharing such versions can not be ruled as copyright infringement before legal copies can actually be bought in the specific country. Same-day release dates and availability of media among countries should be the norm.
 
+European Union I didn't see you answering to the question of playing media on opensource system like Linux, Since ACTA forces removal of tools used in decryption of copyrighted material and makes use of them a punishable crime (Or so i have understood). Doesn't this mean if I go and buy a DRM protected DVD I am also forced to buy Microsoft Windows or Mac in order to play it on computer, or pay for other proprietary software. So to put simple. If i watch DVD I Bought and paid completely legally, on Linux. That makes me a criminal? So my options are "Buy the DVD be criminal" "Pirate the DVD be criminal" or are you encouraging us to change to Microsoft or Mac? why EU takes sides like that on OS market?
 
Dear all,

Sorry for not responding very fast. We had a meeting with the communication people in the Trade Department yesterday where we asked them to help us reply to your questions.

We have copied the questions that were asked by Tuesday afternoon and are categorizing them and sending them over to the Trade department today so that they can answer in more detail. I hope that we will be able to respond soon and expect that the answers provided here will also be available on their website in some form.

Thanks again for your patience,
Anne
 
The industry needs to realise that copyright infringement can only be countered by listening to their customers and provide convenient and accessible digital outlets that makes it easy to get content. Spotify is a good example of such a service, although I do not agree with the DRM that they implemented.
 
So +European Union is going to punish citizens for sharing copyrighted stuff instead of motivating their distributors to expand their markets and provide legal means to download content they authored. Did I miss something?
 
+Andrei Dziahel Well they do disguise it as "punishing only large business" but since the effect of ISP being punished if it "helps" users share copyrighted material will lead to direct effects on the citizens as individuals. Sure they are not targeting individuals with the law, but the big companies are going to be forced to and given tools to target the individuals because of that law. As far as i understood it, +European Union correct me if i'm wrong and i'd be happy to be wrong!
 
+Malin Christersson About the numbers/impact of counterfeiting and piracy on the EU economy, I don't know if you saw them already, because they are hidden behind a fold-out menu (http://ec.europa.eu/trade/creating-opportunities/trade-topics/intellectual-property/anti-counterfeiting/#extra)

The EU's national customs authorities have registered that counterfeit goods entering the EU have tripled between 2005 and 2010. Customs in 2010 registered around 80,000 cases, a figure that has almost doubled since 2009. More than 103 million fake products were detained at the EU external border.

Statistics published by the European Commission in July 2011 show a tremendous upward trend in the number of shipments suspected of violating IPRs. http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/11/506&format=HTML&aged=0&language=en&guiLanguage=en

An OECD study on the global level of counterfeiting and piracy from 2009 estimates that international trade in counterfeit goods grew from just over USD 100 billion in 2000 to USD 250 billion in 2007. This amount is larger than the national GDPs of about 150 countries. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/57/27/44088872.pdf

//Anne
 
Dear +European Commission Yes I did read those reports and I didn’t find any attempt to translate the numbers of estimated counterfeit and pirated products to actual losses. The EC, however, claims that “Europe is losing €8 billion annually”. What studies did you use to estimate the loss?

If I as a tourist bought a $5 dollar Rolex when on vacation in some non-European country, do you claim that my criminal act caused the European company Rolex a loss of $5? Or, if the non-European criminal that sold me the fake Rolex, could be stopped, than I would buy a real Rolex?

When it comes to piracy using the internet, the question of loss or gain is complex. There are several companies claiming that piracy is a way of marketing products for free. That piracy actually increase their income. I have so far not seen any study where anyone with such a certainty as the EC, has put an exact number on either the estimated loss or the estimated gain from piracy. And since the EC have this as the single argument for ACTA, I’m just assuming that the 'one and only argument' is not based on exceptionally poor mathematics. So once again, please show me the studies that you used to estimate the loss.
 
It should be up to the media companies and institutions to limit piracy, such as more anti-piracy software, tighter restrictions on music before it is published on CDs etc. instead of the media companies instructing (which it is so obvious they have with the swathe of 'piracy' related legislation across the world) the +European Union to enforce a badly written 'trade agreement' on European citizens without referenda. ACTA should be stopped or at least, voted on like the democratic institution that is promised to the people who live and work in the EU!
 
if acta will take effect we will lose google!
Say no acta if you want google
 
yes I read acta is anti youtube, anti google+, anti vimeo, anti wikipedia, anti google translate, anti deviantart, anti gnu, anti free software,anti linux, anti bsd, anti creativ common and I can list more than 10000 cause and sites what can acta remove from the internet!
http://www.petitiononline.com/stopacta/petition.html
stop acta if you want to know what is acta look here:
Say NO to ACTA
 
This is a perfect example (though by the EP) of the transparency of the institutions of the +European Union concerning ACTA: http://www.scribd.com/vasistas_blog/d/80661730-A15212-Annex1 (via netzpolitik.org, original in German: http://netzpolitik.org/2012/acta-die-10-mythen-der-eu-kommission/ )
+Jamez Frondeskias They have publicly claimed something. But opposite to the regulations within ACTA, this "publicly stated declaration" is as legally unbinding as any statement here on G+. And there's the problem... And if you've read ACTA, you'll understand the reason most of us have to resort to believe experts - one cannot understand this document without years of legal training. I, for myself, believe the many independent legal experts throughout Europe, who claim that ACTA goes far beyond current laws within the EU (see http://www.iri.uni-hannover.de/acta-1668.html). As you probably know, it is a key talking point of +European Commission, that nothing is changed with ACTA. If they're wrong on this key issue, where are they wrong, too?
One has always to remember: if signed and ratified by all necessary institutions, the only legally binding thing here is the text (and probably the - of course, secret - annotations and remarks). Every other statement made by EU officials is not.
 
+Jamez Frondeskias Not distinguishing between counterfeiting and piracy is the primary strategy of the +European Commission , the strategy they use to spread propaganda. They are basing the entire argument for ACTA on a devious number. They take estimates of counterfeited goods found at European borders and translate these estimates directly to a proclaimed "European loss".

They belong to the old culture of one-to-many communication via television; and they forget that on the internet, Google is just one click away. Using Google, one can find reports about the economic impact of piracy:

From the U.S. Government: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-423
From the Swiss Government: http://www.ejpd.admin.ch/content/ejpd/de/home/dokumentation/mi/2011/2011-11-30.html (summary in English at: http://boingboing.net/2011/12/03/swiss-govt-study-downloadin.html)

Some numbers showing the economic growth of the entertainment industry: http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/02/07/lies-damned-lies-and-piracy/
David C
 
+Malin Christersson
don't agree 100%
The Commission doesn't have so much power 
The European Council= EU Gov :-)
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