On Tuesday 3 July the European Parliament had a long debate on ACTA. No surprises, the group positions were expressed an other time. Vital Moreira, Member of the Socialists and Democrats and International Trade committee Chair, indicated he will vote in favour of ACTA, against his group position. The European People’s Party had more dissenting opinions, like Ria Oomen-Ruijten, rapporteur on ACTA for the five Dutch EPP Members. She indicated she is against the agreement, like Polish EPP members already expressed earlier.
The European Peoples Party wants to wash its hands in innocence. Yesterday, Monday 2 July, the EPP tweeded:
“EPP Group @EPPGroup
#EPP will ask during tomorrow’s debate on #ACTA for a postponement of the vote until we have ECJ’s ruling.” The EPP is afraid of a political vote. Postponement would be a wrong approach. The Court’s test is a marginal one on fundamental rights.
alternative stream, original language:
alternative stream, English:
mms://livewms.europarl.europa.eu/reflector:56235 – 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”.
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 unitary-patent.eu for the details. They opened a piphone so you can call Members of Parliament free of charge. Highly recommended.
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.
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.
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.