[ffii] FFII opposes stealth legislation, demands ACTA documents

Ante ante at ffii.org
Mon Nov 3 10:36:49 CET 2008


PRESS RELEASE -- [ Europe / Economy / Innovation ]

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        FFII opposes stealth legislation, demands ACTA documents
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Brussels, 3rd November 2008 - The Foundation for a Free Information 
Infrastructure (FFII) has requested 12 secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade 
Agreement (ACTA) documents from the EU Council. Behind closed doors, the EU, 
US, Japan and other countries are negotiating ACTA. The negotiating parties 
plan on making the ACTA text public only after the parties have agreed to it. 

Based on leaked information, the FFII is deeply concerned that ACTA may give 
patent trolls the means to extort companies, lead to monitoring all 
citizens' Internet communications and criminalize peer-to-peer electronic 
file sharing. 

Parliaments and the public are in the dark about ACTA. Stakeholders, experts 
and public interest organisations can not scrutinize ACTA documents. Both the 
European Parliament and the member states of the EU have vetoes on aspects of 
ACTA. FFII analyst Ante Wessels says: "Parliaments cannot build an informed 
opinion about ACTA and therefore will not be well prepared to use their 
power."

On its website, the European Commission calls ACTA "path breaking". The U.S. 
Senate Judiciary Committee expressed concerns that ACTA will prescribe rules 
for protection so specifically that it could impede Congress's ability to make 
constructive policy changes in the future. In September more than 100 public 
interest organizations called on officials from the countries negotiating 
ACTA to publish immediately the draft text of the agreement.

Ante Wessels: "With the Computer Implemented Inventions directive, we could 
finally convince people it was actually about software patents. This time the 
Commission and Council keep all texts secret. We believe there is no room for 
stealth legislation in the EU."

The FFII finds support in a recent European Court of Justice judgment. In the 
Turco case, the Court stressed the importance of access to preparatory 
legislative texts: "Openness in that respect contributes to strengthening 
democracy by allowing citizens to scrutinize all the information which has 
formed the basis of a legislative act. The possibility for citizens to find 
out the considerations underpinning legislative action is a precondition for 
the effective exercise of their democratic rights."


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Requested documents
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The FFII requested the following documents in full, without any deletions. 

As the quantity and detailed titles of the documents demonstrate, negotiations 
are already in an advanced state.

Recommendation from the Commission to the Council to authorise the Commission 
to open negotiations of a plurilateral anti-counterfeiting trade agreement 
26-03-2008 7759/08

Recommendation from the Commission to the Council to authorise the Commission 
to open negotiations of a plurilateral anti-counterfeiting trade agreement      
20-06-2008 7095/08

Recommendation from the Commission to the Council to authorise the Commission 
to open negotiations of a plurilateral anti-counterfeiting trade agreement      
24-07-2008 15486/07

Recommendation from the Commission to the Council to authorise the Commission 
to open negotiations of a plurilateral anti-counterfeiting trade agreement      
24-07-2008 12875/08

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement - Draft EU reaction to Japan/U.S. Joint 
Proposal on Civil Enforcement 10-09-2008 15486/07 REV 1

Recommendation from the Commission to the Council to authorise the Commission 
to open negotiations of a plurilateral anti-counterfeiting trade agreement 
10-09-2008 7095/08 REV 1

Recommendation from the Commission to the Council to authorise the Commission 
to open negotiations of a plurilateral anti-counterfeiting trade agreement      
11-09-2008 13448/08 

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement - Revised draft EU reaction to Japan/U.S. 
Joint Proposal on Civil Enforcement 24-09-2008 13382/08

Plurilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) – Civil law measures    
23-09-2008 13637/08

Plurilateral Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) 3rd negotiating 
session 8-10 October 2008, Tokyo, Japan Chapter 2 :Draft Criminal provisions 
Japan-USA Joint proposal, dated 12 September 2008 29-09-2008 13750/08

Anti-Counterfeiting trade Agreement (ACTA) - Compilation of all comments 
provided by ACTA partners on the civil enforcement chapter 02-10-2008 13949/08

Plurilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) 3rd negotiating 
session, 8-10 October 2008, Tokyo - Civil law measures 08-10-2008

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Links
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 * ACTA documents on the Council website:
http://register.consilium.europa.eu/servlet/driver?page=Result&lang=EN&typ=Advanced&cmsid=639&ff_COTE_DOCUMENT=&ff_COTE_DOSSIER_INST=&ff_TITRE=anti-counterfeiting+trade+agreement&ff_FT_TEXT=&ff_SOUS_COTE_MATIERE=&dd_DATE_DOCUMENT=&dd_DATE_REUNION=&dd_FT_DATE=&fc=REGAISEN&srm=25&md=100&ssf=

 * Electronic form on the Council website to request documents:
http://register.consilium.europa.eu/servlet/jsp/MailAccessPrivacy.jsp?&lang=EN&cmsid=928

 * FFII ACTA analysis:
http://action.ffii.org/acta/Analysis

 * U.S. Senate letter:
http://ip-watch.org/files/acta_letter.pdf

 * Open letter by more than 100 public interest organizations:
http://www.essentialaction.org/access/index.php?/archives/173-Secret-Counterfeiting-Treaty-Public-Must-be-Made-Public,-Global-Organizations-Say.html

 * ECJ Turco case: 
http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=en&newform=newform&Submit=Submit&alljur=alljur&jurcdj=jurcdj&jurtpi=jurtpi&jurtfp=jurtfp&alldocrec=alldocrec&docj=docj&docor=docor&docop=docop&docav=docav&docsom=docsom&docinf=docinf&alldocnorec=alldocnorec&docnoj=docnoj&docnoor=docnoor&typeord=ALLTYP&docnodecision=docnodecision&allcommjo=allcommjo&affint=affint&affclose=affclose&numaff=&ddatefs=&mdatefs=&ydatefs=&ddatefe=&mdatefe=&ydatefe=&nomusuel=&domaine=&mots=turco&resmax=100

 * Permanent link to this press release: 
http://press.ffii.org/Press_releases/FFII_opposes_stealth_legislation%2C_demands_ACTA_documents

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Contact
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Benjamin Henrion
FFII Brussels
+32-2-414 84 03
+32-484-566109
bhenrion at ffii.org
(French/English)

Ante Wessels
+ 31 6 100 99 063
ante at ffii.org
(Dutch/English)

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About the FFII
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The FFII is a not-for-profit association active in over fifty countries,
dedicated to the development of information goods for the public
benefit, based on copyright, free competition, and open standards. More
than 850 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted
the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning
exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.



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