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Acta will go to the European Court of Justice in spite of EU parliament!
Is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) compatible with the European Treaties, in particular with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union?" will be the question for the highest European court. The European parliament reacted immediately by announcing it will stick to its plans to vote on it in June

The new treaty between major trading countries to govern intellectual property rights caused quite an uproar worldwide. After the successful campaign against SOPA (and PIPA) in the US, the ACTA treaty became the new target for digital activists worldwide.

The treaty between Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States seeks to stop counterfeiting products and protect copyright protected works. The negotiations took years to complete and before the final text was published all the rumors caused websites worldwide to call for a stop.

ACTA was often, completely incorrectly, described as Europe´s equivalent to SOPA. Strange as the US is a major partyto this treaty as well. The problems for the partners in this treaty are neither Europe nor the US nor most of the other countries but the countries which didn’t sign up. China, the main source for counterfeited product and a country which is not keen on protecting the existing patent system is no party to it, making the treaty somewhat superfluous.

In Europe, Acta, when agreed by the European parliament, will go to the national parliaments who will need to ratify it before the treaty gets into force. Several countries, like Poland, say they will block it, which would nullify the whole effort.

In view of all this the European Commission decided that they will go ahead with the plan to send the treaty to the European Court before asking for the democratic vote. A move was announced yesterday by Karel de Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade and is seen as a way to weather the storm. By silencing critics who claim ACTA will violate fundamental rights in Europe they explicitly ask the court to look at this.

It will mean a delay of about 18 months, but if the EC hadn´t done so chances were high it wouldn´t have survived a first vote in the European Parliament. However the parliament was not impressed and plans on going ahead with a vote as early as June this year.

Buying time could work well as the actual treaty is not as bad as people thought based on earlier drafts. The final text shows that most European countries don´t need to change their existing laws and what most people don’t realize is that Europe is already bound by the earlier TRIPS treaty.

What the European commission wants to achieve by signing the new treaty is a further protection of Europe's economy as they correctly state that innovation, creativity, quality, and brand exclusivity are key advantages of the European economy. Europe is losing billions of Euros annually through counterfeit goods flooding our markets, protecting Intellectual Property Rights means protecting jobs in the EU. It also means consumer safety and secure products. states Karel de Gucht in his press release announcing the move to go the highest court.

The main criticism left is that it codifies the disputed, old fashioned copyright protection system. A business objection for European entrepreneurs could be that the Americans will not convert ACTA into law and have excluded their flawed patent system so by ratifying ACTA Europe would put itself to a disadvantage.

With another year or two before ACTA will be ratified (if ever) by Europe it would be good to think about the current patent system and copyright protection mechanisms. They clearly have difficulty coping with the new economy and the recent battle between the old industry (Hollywood, record companies) and the new digital industry originating from Silicon Valley over SOPA.

While ACTA is on the backburner we recommend this excellent introduction to the ´copyright math´. Rob Reid did a great TED talk about it, which after juggling the numbers the way the old industry likes to present their losses he arrives at the $8 billion iPod. A good laugh and presented to you without any license fees or DRM :)

Does Europe need to fight ACTA or is it just the same old and can the energy better be used to focus on reforms in the copyright and patent laws?

Author: +Max Huijgen

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full text of the Acta Treaty:
announcement by the EC:
response by the parliament
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+Thomas Paris your comment was:

ACTA was anti-democratic the minute it was born as they were trying to negotiate it in complete secrecy with the goal of presenting us with a finished treaty that could only be accepted for fear of being called pro-pirates. Only discussions in the open are democratic as they make it possible for the people to know what is going on and suggest modifications if need be. Personally, I don't care what the contents of the treaty are. It's anti-democratic and I won't think much of politicians who do not denounce it.

And don't get me started on copyright maths...
and your post was a call to stop ACTA with the reasoning that +Chris Pirillo opposed it so I couldn´t take that seriously. He is way better with lego than with laws ;)
+Max Huijgen Actually, the post was about the news that the Parliament had refused the request by the EC to join it in referring the matter to the European courts and to delay their vote. Sorry that you feel that making a reference to +Chris Pirillo negates the entire post. The post certainly didn't cite him as the reason to be against ACTA.
All I did read there was _ they are trying to push through ACTA which many, including +Chris Pirillo, would argue is worse than SOPA/PIPA._ +Euro Maestro No other reasons were cited I think.
But I see that the whole ACTA interest passed when most of the websites who were raising a ruckus backtracked when the final text was released.
+Max Huijgen Maybe you should reread the post then. It's pretty clear. The line you referenced is not citing that as a reason to be against ACTA. It simply says that there are many people including Chris who think that ACTA is worse than SOPA. That post was not presenting an argument against ACTA. It was a call for action for people that are opposed to ACTA. It outlined the European Parliament's response to the request for a delay and sending it to the court. Then it was asking people to take action, namely contacting the committee that was drafting the report. I'm really surprised to find that including a sentence like that would negate the entire post for you.
I just said it was a call for action without giving more than Chris Pirillo and ´others´ being against it as a reason. We surely agree on that +Euro Maestro
And this post is about new developments and goes into some detail of the ACTA treaty. That was all I wanted to state. You brought your post up so I had a look.
+Max Huijgen No, I think you are totally misreading the post. It is not presenting that as a reason at all. Maybe you haven't read my comment posted at 5:22 where I had already explained that it was not a reason.

I wasn't criticizing your post at all. I said it was a nice article. I think you did a great job with it actually. I'm not really sure what the new developments are but it is definitely a well written piece.
Nor am I criticizing your post but I expected some arguments and most of the posts about ACTA are plain nonsense. +Chris Pirillo may know the acronym LEGO (I don´t) but ACTA, SOPA and PIPA are just nice words to blog about with guaranteed sympathy plusses.
I would like to see people who actually go into debate, but so far most just follow the marching orders of new digital leaders who oppose the old economy. Google would hate to see fierce copyright laws enforced as G+, Gmail, G everything wouldn´t survive. So they are happy to herd the flock.
Two million people signed that petition against Acta and I would be very pleasantly surprised if more than 0,1% had read anything other than some call to action....
+Max Huijgen Perhaps I should have included some arguments against ACTA in the post. For this particular post, I didn't think it was necessary. I was just interested in giving people an update and getting them to email the committee to stop ACTA. I had similar requests to stop SOPA. Do you support ACTA ?
Support what +Euro Maestro? I don´t actively ´support´ any of the treaties we have. Do you support the treaty of Lisbon? The treaty of Amsterdam, the treaty of Nice, etc. People rarely ´support´ treaties. At least I never heard of it.
+Chris Pirillo told you that APTA is worse than SOPA/PIPA. Do you or +Chris Pirillo have any argument to even make the comparison? What basis would that be? Are you getting support or does Chris for getting the US to withdraw from Acta if its worse than SOPA?
Surely one of the million people signing the petition must be on G+?
And btw SOPA was a monstrum, so I was against that proposed law but I read it first.
Remember evil flourishes when good people do nothing sounds great by the way. The only question I have is what the evil is, but I was kicked out of church in my youth so I have a history of asking the wrong questions.
I still don't know where you stand. do you think ACTA should be ratified or not ? 
You didn´t answer my questions as they are unanswerable I guess. What was my stance on the treaty of Paris, I had some issues with it, but in general I was willing to support. Critical at that time, but it turned out for the better.
I always want to hear the arguments and hardly know binary questions. Do I like spinach? Some days and in limited quantities :)
You asked the people to email the members of parliament. What were they expected to write? That is was evil and +Chris Pirillo was against it?
And by whom should it be ratified btw, my current country or my country of birth?
+Max Huijgen If you don't have a position on the treaty, that's fine. You can just say that. I'm not in the mood for a silly parlor game, sorry.
A silly parlor game +Euro Maestro? You and others have called upon millions of people to act, to write ´evil´ to members of parliament. I wrote a news item about the developing story and you post a link to that call to action.
It´s not a game to ask for arguments as you and +Chris Pirillo are apparently ringleaders. Surely you must have written yourself to your member of parliament; what did you tell him or her? It seems a very valid question as you posted that link for a reason I assume.
You expect people to read it, which I did, and act on it and I had a question about why and how to act. What did you write?
+Max Huijgen I don't know what you are doing. If you feel my reference to my post was inappropriate, I will gladly delete it. I don't need you need to misrepresent it. I simply asked you what your position was in regards to this treaty. You don't need to ask me for arguments for or against it to know what your postion is. You can simply state it. If you don't know enough about the treaty to form an opinion about it, you can simply say that. If you don't wish to share your opinion for some reason, you can say that as well.
Oi you two... It's getting hot in here!
Its getting warmer +Paul Williams as i would love to hear why +Euro Maestro calls people to action but can´t present a simple argument for them or for me.
I have no problem at all Euro with that post, but I would welcome some substance. I´m reasonably well informed, probably a bit above the average reader of your and my post so they need to have something for a reason to oppose the evil which is near.
It should be fairly easy to describe the evil if even +Chris Pirillo understands it. Much easier than a balanced evaluation like I would make.
Good luck with that. I know that I don't have the time or possibly ability to understand the full implications of the bill/treaty. I do enjoy the discussion surrounding them on here though.
+Max Huijgen

It's not that I can't present an argument as you just stated. It's as I said pretty clearly that I don't need to present an argument for you to answer the question about what your position is. Again if there's some reason you choose not to respond, that's fine with me. 
I trust that you are well informed. One of the reasons I was curious to know what your position is.

What's with all the animosity towards +Chris Pirillo ?

Has something happened that I'm unaware of ? 
Euro, I read your post via the link above then I skimmed the zd news article linked in there.... Too tired to give it the time it deserves, so I'm not going to butt in any more until I have read further. Good Night guy's.
I have nothing against +Chris Pirillo I appreciate his stance on cyberbullying and enjoy his love for all things Lego. I just don´t consider him an expert or even knowledgeable about international treaties.
Anyway this thread is dead as although millions of people oppose Acta and the parliament was so impressed with the two million votes that they turned against it has no traction here.
Ok too bad. Maybe you will share your opinions another day. If you decide to do so, I look forward to hearing them. 
I have read the linked article of course as well as the misconceptions and facts part but the author admits he doesn´t know anything about treaties or commercial law.

He makes some assumptions that it would possibly be forbidden to counterfeit products and that it would be a criminal act if you did so for commercial gain. That´s entirely correct but that´s already the case in Europe.
Most of the points websites list are based on rumors, and strange perceptions about commercial treaties.

I had high hopes that at least one person would be willing to explain in a few hundred words max what the big deal is and why Americans want Europeans to stop our ratification effort instead of focusing on their own acceptance of the treaty.

I´m bewildered by the noise and get the feeling that the good laugh we all had at the senators who were in favor of SOPA as they didn´t exactly show off their knowledge of anything internet related currently affect the people opposing this treaty.

I look forward to an intelligent debate somewhere with persons who actually do have an opinion. Not a link dump fight but a decent exchange of arguments. I´m open minded by nature and if there is something evil hidden somewhere and it so far escaped my attention I´m the first to acknowledge that.

However I would still not be ´for the treaty´ or ´against it´ but just seek to address the issues in the European conversion into laws. Every treaty offers a lot of leeway so all the law makers have to do is make sure that unintended effects don´t make it into local laws.

This process however takes years and the rights of citizens (which are not targeted by the treaty) are anyway protected by the more universal law system Europe has.

That counterfeited jeans can´t be sold in Europe doesn´t really upset me. That has been forbidden a decade or more ago. That it becomes illegal to strip artist credits of f.i. shared photos seems a blessing for creative people.
Yes, Max, that is the cross-spectrum, real, underlying problem.
Elected representation no longer supports stated electoral requirement any longer.
This is what needs to be amended before anything constructive, on any issue, is to be achieved.
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