[fyeg_gen-l] Fwd: ACTA: Commissioner De Gucht Lies to the EU Parliament ?

Dante-Gabryell Monson dante.monson at gmail.com
Wed Feb 1 17:20:20 CET 2012


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: La Quadrature du Net <jz at laquadrature.net>
Date: Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 11:47 AM
Subject: [fcf_discussion] ACTA: Commissioner De Gucht Lies to the EU
To: fcforum_discussion at list.fcforum.net


La Quadrature du Net - For immediate release

Permanent link:

ACTA: Commissioner De Gucht Lies to the EU Parliament

*** Paris, February 1st 2012 – The EU Commission “Trade”
Directorate-General is lobbying the EU Parliament, presenting a one-sided
and plainly distorted view of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
(ACTA) to face the growing citizen opposition. The EU's executive branch,
which negotiated ACTA behind citizens' backs, is now shamelessly relaying
the copyright industries' lobbying pitch, in yet another sign of its
collusion with business interests. ***

EU Commissioner for International trade, Karel De Gucht, has sent a letter
to Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) [1]. Once again, he downplays the
legitimate concerns expressed against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade
Agreement, ACTA. Attached to this letter is a “Question & Answer” document
meant to help MEPs “reassure” their constituents [2].

In response, La Quadrature du Net has created a participative document [3]
to help citizen debunk one after the other the lies of the EU Commission,
which keeps denying the evidence that ACTA is a dangerous and illegitimate

The opposition to ACTA is not mere media hype, as Commissioner De Gucht
seems to believe. For months, its dangers have been repeatedly stressed by
leading legal scholars [4], an independent study commissioned by the EU
Parliament itself [5], winners of the Sakharov Prizes [6], the Senate of
Mexico [7], broadcasters and telecoms trade associations [8], global NGOs
such as OXFAM [9], Doctors Without Border [10] or Article 19 [11], but also
some of the EU's main trading partners and many others (see our wiki page
compiling the criticism of ACTA [12]).

“By pretending that ACTA is inoffensive, Commissioner De Gucht is trying to
hide the European Commission's immense responsibility in initiating a
negotiation process circumventing democratic arenas. The 18 July 2007
discussion paper submitted in interservice consultation in the European
Commission for the negotiating mandate [13] included the criminalization of
not-for-profit sharing by individuals. This is the truth behind ACTA and
European citizens are taking to the streets because they have understood
it.”, declared Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of the citizen advocacy group
La Quadrature du Net.

“EU Commissioner Karel De Gucht is so close to the global copyright
industry's lobbies that he remains blind to the legitimate concerns that
have been expressed against ACTA for years. To get ACTA ratified, he is
ready to lie to the European Parliament, dismissing all evidence showing
that ACTA is actually a threat to free speech online, access to medicine,
but also to innovation and competition. Such obscurantism clearly brings
into question his ability to work for the EU's public interest and should
resonate as a call for the Parliament to reject ACTA.” , said Jérémie
Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net.

* References *

3.  https://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Counter-Arguments_Against_ACTA
4.  http://www.iri.uni-hannover.de/acta-1668.html
5.  https://www.laquadrature.net/files/INTA%20-%20ACTA%20assessment.pdf
7.  http://www.senado.gob.mx/index.php?ver=sp&mn=2&sm=2&id=9376&lg=61
9.  http://www.oxfamfrance.org/L-acces-aux-medicaments-generiques,1273
12. https://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Against_ACTA
13. The latter includes the repression of: “significant willful
infringements without motivation for financial gain to such an extent as to
prejudicially affect the copyright owner (e.g., internet piracy)”. See:

** About la Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that promotes the rights and
freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for
the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding
principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge.

In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better
understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and
pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage
citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the
digital age.

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international
NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society
Institute and Privacy International.

List of supporting organisations:

** Press contact and press room **

Jérémie Zimmermann, jz at laquadrature.net, +33 (0)615 940 675


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