September 27, 2011

ACTA will be signed Saturday

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On Saturday, October 1, 2011, parties that have completed relevant domestic processes will sign ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement).

For background information on who will sign, see: Who is Signing ACTA: State of Play Cont’d (EU will not sign)

FFII (Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure) statement:

The world faces major challenges: access to medicine, diffusion of green technology needed to fight climate change, and a balanced Internet governance. While flexibility is essential to solve these major issues, ACTA codifies heightened measures.

To stimulate startup companies, the EU legal situation should minimize market entrance risks for innovators. In digital markets, innovators are often confronted with patent minefields. Even a mere allegation of infringement may easily lead to market exclusion. ACTA’s damages beyond the actual prejudice have a disproportional negative effect on startup companies, which do not have deep pockets.

According to our analysis, green innovation will partly inherit the issues in the software field. ACTA will hamper both green innovation and diffusion of green technology.

ACTA is incompatible with fundamental European human rights instruments and -standards.

ACTA increases the risks and consequences of wrongful searches, seizures, lawsuits and other enforcement actions against legitimate suppliers of generic medicines.

A European Parliament International Trade Committee commissioned study confirms ACTA goes beyond current EU law. The study also concludes: “There does not therefore appear to be any immediate benefit from ACTA for EU citizens”.

The US Congress will not ratify ACTA, ACTA will not be binding upon the US, while ACTA will be binding upon the EU. ACTA will create an ACTA Committee. The US can freely propose ever stronger measures. While allowing one party not to be bound to an agreement is a negotiation mistake, constitutionalising this is a system design fault.