ACTA procedural tricks alert

Update: no one made a request to postpone the vote on ACTA. The debate will be on Tuesday 15.00, the roll call vote (a bit after) Wednesday 12.30

Watch it live:

EP video streams:

plenary session:

alternative stream, original language:

alternative stream, English:
mms:// – aid 3

Try other “aid” numbers for other languages. Second alternative stream:


According to a tweet (in Dutch) from Member of the European Parliament, Judith Sargentini, proponents of ACTA, fearing to lose the vote, may try to postpone the vote. She writes the Greens are preparing to counter procedural tricks. She also writes her mailbox is filling up with emails against ACTA, and “don’t worry I will vote against”.

Important Unitary Patent regulation amendments

The Greens in the European Parliament tabled important amendments to the draft unitary patent regulation. They aim to bring the unitary patent under democratic control. See for the details. They opened a piphone so you can call Members of Parliament free of charge. Highly recommended.

ACTA endangers innovation and fundamental rights

Today the FFII sent an open letter to The President of the European Parliament. See below or the pdf. See also our press release and the French translation: ACTA menace innovation et droits fondamentaux. ====

ACTA endangers innovation and fundamental rights

Open letter to The President of the European Parliament

28 June 2012

Dear Mr Schulz,

On 6 July 2005, the European Parliament almost unanimously rejected the software patents directive. The monopolisation of software ideas was a too serious threat to small and medium sized enterprises and innovation.

Contact your MEP over ACTA

The European Parliament plenary session will discuss ACTA on the 3rd of July, followed by a plenary vote the next day. The biggest group in Parliament, the EPP, is still in favour of ACTA, and most committee votes were close. Proponents of ACTA are very active. David Martin, the Parliament’s rapporteur on ACTA, told that at first he just thought protecting intellectual property rights is good, he was inclined to be in favour of ACTA. Only after he looked closer, he became critical.

EU to waive its powers to define a patent policy

Update: Thanks to everyone who has called MEPs. The amendments have been tabled by the Greens. See the Voting recommendations. —

Next week the European Parliament will discuss and vote on ACTA. It will also discuss and vote on a regulation on the unitary patent.

INTA committee rejects ACTA

The International Trade committee adopted David Martin’s draft opinion which proposes to reject ACTA, with 19 to 12 votes. Two amendments proposing to give consent to ACTA were withdrawn. An amendment proposing to postpone the vote on ACTA until after the Court’s opinion was rejected with 19 to 12 votes as well. A huge victory for civil society, Internet freedom, access to medicine and knowledge, and innovative companies. But we are not there yet.

De Gucht’s “most conservative” counterfeiting numbers

On March 1, EU Commissioner De Gucht used overstated counterfeiting numbers, and called them the “most conservative estimates”. Will he do this again today at 6 pm? On 1 March, De Gucht said: “The most conservative estimates of the size of the global counterfeiting and piracy industry put it at 250 billion US dollars a year.” This estimate is massively overstated. The numbers are based on OECD reports.

Secret vote on ACTA?

According to Marietje Schaake, member of the European Parliament’s International Trade committee (INTA), there is a rumor that there will be a request for a secret vote on ACTA. See her tweet. Who would have somehing to hide? A small majority of groups are against ACTA. Proponents of ACTA may hope that a secret ballot may dilute group discipline, with a report recommending adoption of ACTA as result.

First the INTA committee secretariat denied the existence of coordinators’ minutes.