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 Two amendments proposing to give consent to ACTA were withdrawn.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.

De Gucht will address the INTA committee on ACTA

According to sources in the Parliament, Trade Commissioner De Gucht invited himself to the Parliament’s International Trade committee (INTA). He will address the committee just before the vote on ACTA. The INTA committee will vote on ACTA on 21 June, at 10 am. De Gucht is expected to call upon the committee to propose to Parliament to wait until the European Court of Justice delivered its opinion on ACTA. The Court will marginally test ACTA.

INTA committee amendments to draft opinion on ACTA

On 21 June, at 10 am, the European Parliament International Trade committee will vote on David Martin’s draft opinion on ACTA. The draft opinion recommends to Parliament to reject ACTA (“Declines to consent to conclusion of the agreement”). Members of the committee tabled three amendments changing the recommendation. Two amendments, by Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl (EPP) and Christofer Fjellner (EPP) change the recommendation to “Consents to conclusion of the agreement”. The Justification added to Christofer Fjellner’s amendment is incomprehensible.

Wild assumptions

According to the “ACTA facts” website, ACTA will give the EU an enormous boost: “Economic stimulus: €50 billion in growth and 960,000 new jobs”. That’s unexpected. According to the European Parliament INTA study, the ACTA partners already have a high level of protection of intellectual property rights, so “There does not therefore appear to be any immediate benefit from ACTA for EU citizens”. Undeterred, the Frontier Economics and BASCAP report assumes that trade with ACTA partners will increase with 5% of 67% of all current trade with ACTA partners, that is 19 billion euro. If the BRICS countries join, the report expects trade will increase with 10% of 67% of current trade with BRICS countries, that is 23 billion.

A little prayer on ACTA

With Joe getting poetical, the Commission into myth making, and a church available, why wouldn’t I try to write a little prayer on ACTA? A little prayer on ACTA

What is legal will stay legal

As long as you disconnect your computer from the Internet

You do not have to fear ACTA’s criminal measures

As long as you disconnect your computer from the Internet

ACTA is not a threat to your privacy

As long as you disconnect your computer from the Internet

You do not have to fear United States law in Europe

As long as you disconnect your computer from the Internet

The ACTA process was transparent enough

You were never supposed to have an opinion at all

ACTA is not a threat to your access to medicine

As long as you do not pick up a terrible disease

ACTA will not harm small and medium sized enterprises

As long as they do not try to innovate and compete

You do not have to fear disconnection

As long as you disconnect your computer from the Internet

You do not have to fear monitoring

As long as you disconnect your computer from the Internet

ACTA is not a threat to your right to information

As long as you disconnect your computer from the Internet

ACTA is not a threat to your freedom of speech

As long as you disconnect your computer from the Internet