On 13 November 2012 the FFII sent an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to the Court of Justice of the European Union. A few hours later the registry of the court informed the FFII that only the Member States, the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission may participate in the Opinion procedure and submit written statements. The Court does not accept amicus curiae briefs from third parties. This is awkward. The court is going to decide on citizens’ rights, but does not want to hear from citizens.
Today the FFII sent an amicus curiae brief about ACTA to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The FFII concludes that ACTA is not compatible with international human rights instruments, the European Convention on Human Rights, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, or the European Treaties. Press release: http://press.ffii.org/Press+releases/FFII%20letter%20to%20European%20Court%20of%20Justice%20on%20ACTA
Amicus curiae brief, original pdf: http://people.ffii.org/~ante/acta/FFII-ACTA-amicus-brief-2012.pdf
An html export, with endnotes and an other font, which you may prefer for on screen reading: http://people.ffii.org/~ante/acta/FFII-ACTA-amicus-brief-2012.html
This is my submission to the “Call for a progressive agenda on creation and innovation”, launched by the Greens / EFA in the European Parliament. It is partly inspired by Peter K. Yu, Intellectual Property and Human Rights in the Nonmultilateral Era. Make the IP system compatible with the Union’s human rights obligations
Human rights protect people. In the EU, fundamental rights protect intellectual property (IP) rights holders. Does this make profit maximisation equally important as human dignity?
The pharmaceutical industry abuses patents to ask exorbitant prices, says Dr. Huub Schellekens, professor at Utrecht University, in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant (11 August, paywall). In the Netherlands, one of the richest countries in the world, the “College van Zorgverzekeringen”, the government organization responsible for reimbursing medical costs, started a discussion on whether it is still possible to reimburse the high costs for treating the Fabry and Pompe diseases. In this discussion, senator and ethicist Heleen Dupuis said the high costs of care disrupt the Dutch society. She supported stopping the reimbursement of the costs for these diseases. According to professor Schellekens the production of the drug to treat the Pompe disease costs about four thousand euro per patient per year.
On February 1, 2012, I filed a maladministration complaint against the European Parliament for systematically lying about the existence of documents. The complaint attracted attention from Members of the Parliament. Daniel Cohn-Bendit & Rebecca Harms, Co-Presidents Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament wrote to Mr Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, to ask him to fully cooperate. The European Ombudsman reformulated my complaint to: “Parliament fails to register all existing Parliament documents in its electronic Register of documents.” The Parliament sent its opinion on the complaint to the Ombudsman on 31 May.
Brussels, 23 July 2012 — The European Commission blocks TOR users’ access to its web site. TOR is an internet anonymisation technology and became widely popular for its facilitating role in the Arab spring movement. “This is ironic, the Commission is conducting a public consultation on net neutrality, and they already censor a part of the internet to access their site”, finds FFII President Benjamin Henrion. He was troubled by the issue when he tried to access the consultation website from European Commissioner Neelie Kroes. “The European Commission is seeking answers to questions on specific aspects of transparency, traffic management and switching in an Open Internet”, the website says.
The EU – Canada trade agreement (CETA) contains the same draconian civil and criminal measures as ACTA, see Michael Geist. He recommends: “With anti-ACTA sentiment spreading across Europe, Canada should push to remove the intellectual property chapter from CETA altogether.” I agree completely: trade agreements and IP regulations have to be disentangled. “CETA must be cancelled altogether (or its repressive ACTA parts must be scrapped), or face the same fate as ACTA in the Parliament”, La Quadrature warns. But this is not all.
Today, the European Parliament rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in a 478 to 39 vote with 165 abstentions. Before the vote the European People’s Party requested a vote on postponement of the vote. The Parliament rejected postponement in a 420 to 255 vote with 9 abstentions. This is a major victory for civil society, Internet freedom, access to medicine and knowledge, and innovative companies. Before people had computers, it took an effort to infringe copyright.