“No impact assessment” is the new impact assessment

ACTA would be considered by the European Parliament. Now a simple fact gets openly admitted:

“IMPACT ASSESSMENT: no impact assessment was carried out.” and further the Commission claims without any evidence:

“At the same time, ACTA is a balanced agreement, because it fully respects the rights of citizens and the concerns of important stakeholders such as consumers, internet providers and partners in developing countries.” Don’t you agree that is contradictory? Either you assess the impact or you don’t. Continue Reading →

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Confirmatory application for legal service’s opinion on ACTA

Today I refiled a confirmatory application for the European Parliament legal service’s opinion on ACTA. See also: http://acta.ffii.org/?p=904

Dear Mr Welle,

On 17 November, I filed a confirmatory application for A12541 – legal service’s opinion on ACTA. Apparently our letters crossed. Now that I received your letter, I will update my confirmatory application below. In your letter, you give three reasons for not providing access to major parts of the legal service’s opinion. Continue Reading →

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A partly secret ratification process… How deep do you want to sink?

The European Parliament partly released the legal service’s opinion on ACTA, but left out the analysis on ACTA. Why? “Important trading partners of the EU, such as the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea and Switzerland are contracting parties to the ACTA agreement. Disclosure of the parts of the legal opinion under consideration dealing with questions 1, 2 and 3 would seriously interfere with the complex ratification procedures of the ACTA agreement and the EU’s relations with the other contracting parties, as it might prejudice the ratification procedures by these countries.” Really. Continue Reading →

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7 civil society groups ask for European Parliament transparency on ACTA

From: Raegan MacDonald
Sent: 17 November 2011 10:43
Subject: Need for INTA Transparency on ACTA

Dear INTA Committee Member,

Please find attached and below a letter from civil society — including digital rights, access to medicines, free software and human rights organisations — regarding the INTA meeting on 23 November, at which an unpublished Opinion of the European Parliament Legal Service on ACTA will be discussed in-camera. I am happy to discuss this particular meeting and the ACTA process more generally, so please do not hesitate to contact me directly at [TELEPHONE NUMBER] or by email at [EMAIL ADDRESS]. Best regards,
-Raegan MacDonald

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Dear Members of the Committee on International Trade,

The undersigned signatories of this letter are a group of international civil society organisations. We are extremely concerned and disappointed by the INTA Committee’s repeated insistence on keeping the deliberations around Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) hidden from the public. According to your Committee’s website,1 there will be a meeting on 23 November at 09h00 at which an unpublished Opinion of the European Parliament Legal Service on ACTA will be discussed, in-camera. Continue Reading →

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INTA chairman defends secrecy

On 9 November we sent the Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA), Mr Moreira, an open letter in which we protested against an INTA meeting behind closed doors on ACTA. On 10 November Mr Moreira replied. Below you will find his letter and our reply. Mr Moreira defends the secrecy: the document is, for the time being, confidential. We maintain that secrecy is not compatible with “utmost transparency” (art 103 European Parliament Rules of Procedure). Continue Reading →

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FFII objects to secret INTA committee meeting on ACTA

(See also: press release)

Open letter
to: The Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA),

Dear Mr Moreira,

According to the agenda, the Committee on International Trade will discuss ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) behind closed doors on 23 November. [1] We object to this discussion being held behind closed doors. Since the publication of the ACTA text, discussions have to take place in public. ACTA’s predecessor, the TRIPS agreement, killed millions of people. 500 Million Europeans, and billions abroad, are entitled to full transparency. Continue Reading →

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European Parliament releases “nonexistent” coordinators’ minutes on ACTA

The European Parliament’s register released the International Trade (INTA) committee’s coordinators’ minutes on ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). Prior to the release, the Parliament’s services denied the existence of these minutes four times. Only after the FFII provided proof that the documents do exist, the Parliament released them. The minutes document illegal decisions. On 21 June 2011, the coordinators of the INTA committee decided to ask the Parliament’s legal service an opinion on ACTA. Continue Reading →

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No fair use in ACTA

When the European Parliament adopted its position on the proposed EU draft directive on criminal sanctions they also included the following safeguards, a fair use provision. Member States shall ensure that the fair use of a protected work, including such use by reproduction in copies or audio or by any other means, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship or research, does not constitute a criminal offence. The MEPs also amended the proposal from the Commission on the matter of parallel importation:
Criminal sanctions shall not be applied in cases of parallel importation of original goods which have been marketed with the agreement of the right-holder in a country outside the European Union. As announced in Official Journal C 252 of 18 September 2010 the European Commission decided to withdraw their proposal for a Directive on the criminal enforcement of intellectual property rights because member states didn’t want to adopt it. In particular the Dutch parliament notified the Commissioner Frattini that the EU lacks competence to adopt these measures. Continue Reading →

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Negotiator’s notes on ACTA

The European Commission released the (final) negotiator’s Notes on ACTA on 6 October 2011. Request for access to documents – Gestdem 2011-4206

Dear Mr Wessels,

I refer to your request of 1 August, 2011 in which, you ask to receive the Commission’s Negotiator’s Notes on ACTA. As regards the so-called “negotiators’ notes”, let me first clarify their nature. “Negotiators’ Notes” have been added in the evolving versions of the draft negotiating text (the “consolidated” text) as footnotes. These “Negotiators’ Notes” varied considerably in content: some were mere reminders for a verification of the coherence of language at the final “legal scrub” or for the applicability of a certain definition already used somewhere else in the text, while others were added to reflect the interpretation that one or more Parties had of a certain concept. Continue Reading →

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FFII requests European Parliament’s Legal Services’ opinion on ACTA

The European Parliament’s Legal Services’ opinion on ACTA is ready. And it is secret! Not only that, according to rumors in Parliament, it is positive about ACTA. So we have prominent academics and fundamental rights experts pointing out problems with ACTA, and then in a secret opinion the Parliament’s Legal Services says it is fine. This is very strange, since the earlier opinions were excellent. Continue Reading →

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The European Parliament services denied the existence of ACTA documents four times

The European Parliament services denied the existence of INTA coordinators’ minutes (regarding ACTA) four times. Under EU law, Institutions can refuse access to documents in some cases. But EU law does not provide a possibility to deny or obfuscate the existence of documents. See our 5 October letter to the INTA secretariat. Dear INTA secretariat,

I would like to kindly thank you for your elaborate answer to my request for information and documents. Continue Reading →

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FFII urges EP Civil Liberties Committee to formulate opinion on ACTA

Today, the FFII sent a letter to the members of the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee:

Dear Members of the Civil Liberties Committee,

In the coming months, the Parliament will have to take a decision on whether to give consent to ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). Research has shown serious fundamental rights issues. We call upon you to formulate an opinion on ACTA. A group of prominent European academics published an opinion on ACTA. They conclude that certain ACTA provisions are not entirely compatible with EU law and will directly or indirectly require additional action on the EU level. Continue Reading →

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