[fyeg_gen-l] ACTA: Letter to the EU Parliament Development Committee

Dante-Gabryell Monson dante.monson at gmail.com
Tue Jan 24 17:05:10 CET 2012

Thank you for considering the following
*Letter - **by la Quadrature du Net -*
*to the EU Parliament Development
which includes green representatives *Franziska Keller* and *Catherine Greze
*( Isabella Lövin , **Judith Sargentini , and **Bart Staes as substitutes )

Some of the main points are :

   - *ACTA turns Internet companies (ISPs, service providers) into a
   private copyright police by forcing to take legal responsibility for what
   their users do online.*
   - *ACTA brings broad and dangerous criminal sanctions in loosely defined
   - *ACTA bypasses democracy and opens the door to a parallel legislative
   process, which the European MPs should be particularly angry about.*

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: La Quadrature du Net <jz at laquadrature.net>
Date: Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 3:14 PM
Subject: [fcf_discussion] ACTA: Letter to the EU Parliament Development
To: fcforum_discussion at list.fcforum.net


La Quadrature du Net - For immediate release

Permanent link:

ACTA: Letter to the EU Parliament Development Committee

   To: Members of the DEVE committee

   Subject: Exchange of views on ACTA : Crucial issues need to be considered

   Dear Member of the Development Committee,

   Today, you will hold a first exchange of views on the draft opinion
report presented by Mr. Jan Zahradil on ACTA. We write to you to express
grave concerns regarding the substance of this draft report.

   Many crucial issues raised by ACTA are completely overlooked. In
particular, the fact that its negotiators purposefully chose to bypass
international forums, such as WTO and WIPO. Last year, leaked US diplomatic
cables showed that from the beginning, ACTA was designed to be imposed on
developing countries, while excluding them of the negotiation process.[1]
This all the more shocking that many NGOs such as Oxfam, Doctors Without
Borders and Health Action International have shown that ACTA would have
negative consequences on the legitimate trade of generic medicines.[2]

   Moreover, several advocacy groups also stress that ACTA's digital
chapter will export to developing countries several civil and criminal
measures to fight the sharing of online culture. ACTA would provide the
legal justification for measures such as those proposed in the extremist
copyright bills discussed by the US Congress (known as “PIPA” and “SOPA”).
Though these US bills have been shelved after huge online protests, ACTA
would pave the way for similar extra-judicial measures undermining freedom
of speech online and innovation in the digital economy. It would have
dramatic consequences, especially in countries that don't have the same
fundamental rights protections as the EU. [3]

   Finally, ACTA has absolutely no democratic legitimacy. Indeed, it was
drafted by a small group of unelected officials in charge of promoting the
interests of rights holders in their respective countries — not by
legitimate democratic representatives. And now, Members of the European
Parliament are asked to approve these new criminal sanctions without the
possibility to amend them. If ACTA were to be ratified in Europe, it would
undermine the very democratic values on which the Union was founded.

   As protectors of the public interest, we trust that you will fully
consider these important issues, and amend the draft report to that effect.


   La Quadrature du Net.

   2. http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Against_ACTA
   3. http://www.laquadrature.net/en/node/4104/

* References *

1. When finalized, this “opinion” will complement the main report in the
International trade (INTA) committee, which will be presented in plenary
along with the yes/no vote, in the next months. See the draft opinion
2. https://memopol.lqdn.fr/europe/parliament/deputy/JanZahradil/

*** Paris, 24 January 2012 – Today, La Quadrature du Net sent a letter to
the Members of the Development committee of the European Parliament. All
citizens should also call on the committee to carefully consider the many
serious issues raised by ACTA, the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement
aimed at establishing extremist standards in copyright, patent and
trademarks worldwide. ***

The “Development” committee (DEVE) of the EU Parliament is starting its
work on ACTA by debating its draft opinion report [1] on ACTA, presented by
its rapporteur Jan Zahradil [2], a conservative, euro-skeptic
representative from the Czech Republic. The DEVE committee will meet around
4:30 pm today to discuss ACTA [3].

To underline the crucial issues raised by ACTA, La Quadrature du Net has
sent a letter to the members of the DEVE committee. La Quadrature stresses
in particular how ACTA was — from the beginning of the negotiations — meant
as an agreement to be imposed on developing countries. The letter also
points to the human rights concerns regarding the impact of ACTA on access
to medecines and free speech online. Finally, the letter insists on ACTA's
lack of democratic legitimacy.

Every citizen can contribute to defeat ACTA by contacting members of the EU
Parliament (MEPs) and informing them of this illegtimate agreeement's
dangers and the need to reject it.

La Quadrature has set up a wiki campaign page to help you get in touch with
MEPs in the DEVE committee:

** 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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