October 22, 2010

Help to debug the European Commissioner

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The Commission often says nice things about ACTA. But as Christian Engström (Pirate MEP) remarked in the European Parliament – “however, when you look at the text …”

That is what we want to do, we want to look at the text and check the facts, crowdsource that effort to find “counterfeit legislation” in ACTA. Let’s start with a statement of EU Commissioner Karel de Gucht:

“…EU’s position [in ACTA] is consistent with the provisions of the Copyright in the Information Society Directive(2) including Article 8 thereof, the E-commerce Directive(3), including Articles 12 to 15, on the liability of ISPs), the Enforcement of IPR Directive(4); the Data Protection Directives(5); and with the provisions of the regulatory framework for electronic communications as amended in 2009 with the Telecom Reform package.”

Of course you may have noticed the first trick, the term “EU’s position”. A colleague from internet provider xs4all noticed it and posed the question to EU chief negotiator Luc Devigne during a hearing. The actual EU-position in secret negotiations is of course – errrr – secret.

Now we have negotiations results available,  an agreed ACTA text, and Commissioner De Gucht still claims it won’t change the law.

The list of directives above indicates what parts of the Acquis (body of adopted EU level law) would be affected by an adoption of ACTA. The Commissioner says that the Acquis won’t be affected at all, no change of the EU legal environement was required. Many civil society and industry groups claim ACTA has effects on the internet. Many Members of Parliament don’t believe the Commission because it would make ACTA pretty baseless. And ironically in other nations they tell the public the same tales, that it won’t change their law. Check the facts!

Task 1: Falsify the Commission – find inconsistencies between the existing EU laws (“Acquis”) and the corresponding provisions of the ACTA latest text

Please contribute, and post your findings, observations and comments below or mail us office@ffii.org

Our analysis for instance mentions a few incosistencies, there are more