Christian Engström, Pirat

12 juli 2012

Introducing CETA, the ACTA Zombie

Filed under: ACTA,English — Christian Engström @ 13:57

The corridors of the European Parliament will be empty until September, but then we will have to see where we stand on CETA

ACTA is dead, but this is not the end of the story. As anybody who has enjoyed a good horror movie knows, no matter how dead the monster was at the end of the first film, it will be alive, kicking, and stronger than ever when the sequel comes.

In the case of ACTA, the name of the first sequel is CETA, which stands for Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, and is a bilateral agreement between the EU and Canada. The CETA negotiations are currently going on, and the agreement is not yet finalized.

Canadian law professor Michel Geist brought CETA to public attention a few days ago, referencing a leaked version of CETA from February this year.

Yesterday I attended a post-mortem seminar on ACTA in the European Parliament. One of the panelists was the civil servant from the EU Commission who used to handle ACTA, and who is now in charge of the CETA negotiations.

I took the opportunity to ask him about CETA, and if it wasn’t true that CETA contains a chapter on intellectual property rights where certain provisions have been copied verbatim from ACTA.

The reaction of the Commission official was very interesting. He confirmed that CETA does indeed contain a chapter on intellectual property, but then immediately went on to try to belittle Professor Geist (without anybody else having mentioned Professor Geist’s name).

According to the Commission representative, Professor Geist should not be taken seriously, since he was commenting on a draft that was six months old, and the text had changed since then.

When I asked the obvious follow-up question, if the Commission had published a more current version of the text under negotiation, the answer was no.

So it appears that it will be déjà vu all over again. The unelected EU Commission is negotiating an international agreement with legislative effect behind closed doors. They are keeping all documents secret, while arrogantly claiming that everybody who is questioning what they are doing is misinformed. Same procedure as last time.

But in reality, the defeat of ACTA has changed things. Thousands of citizens have seen with their own eyes that political activism works. The European Parliament has shown that it is prepared to use its powers to reject trade agreements that are unacceptable.

Even if the Commission’s behaviour at the seminar yesterday indicated that they have not yet absorbed the lesson of ACTA, it is quite possible that a bit of reflection on their part over the summer will help them see things in a new light. They no longer have any reason to believe that they will be successful in introducing stricter intellectual property laws through the back door of international trade agreements. Perhaps they will come to realise that having a chapter on intellectual property in CETA creates a real risk that the entire agreement will be rejected in the end, just like ACTA was.

Now the European Parliament will close for the summer break. This means that there is no point in trying to contact MEPs right now. But when the parliament opens again in September, we will have to see where things stand with CETA.

If it turns out that the Commission will try to revive the dead ACTA treaty in the form of CETA, it will be up to the European Parliament to stop the madness one more time. But we can hope that the Commission will have come to its senses by then.

…………

Others on the subject: The Independent

16 kommentarer

  1. [...] medlem i EU-parlamentet, Christian Engström, skriver att det fortfarande finns hopp att EU-kommissionen ska förstå vad som egentligen har [...]

    Pingback av CETA – Upphovsrättslobbyn och EU-kommissionen försöker igen med lagstiftning i avtalsform « Emil Isberg — 12 juli 2012 @ 17:38

  2. Perhaps they will come to realise that having a chapter on intellectual property in CETA creates a real risk that the entire agreement will be rejected in the end, just like ACTA was.

    Up until this point, I kind of assumed that ”intellectual property” issues form the core of CETA, as it has been labeled an ACTA in disguise. But merely having ”a chapter” on them of course implies that CETA includes other statements on trade as well, statements which we probably won’t have an issue with (hard to tell until we have seen the official text). While this doesn’t make CETA any less dangerous than ACTA, it is something we need to consider when formulating our opposition to it, as those other parts may very well be what convinces the EP majority to accept CETA. With ACTA, that was never the case, as it contained nothing but ”intellectual property” issues.

    So, what are those other parts of CETA about? Do they establish new trade relations that are beneficial to all parties to the treaty, or do they simply rehash established trading practice? Does CETA replace any trade agreement currently in effect? Will CETA make a difference with respect to anything besides ”intellectual property”?

    And it’s of course amusing that someone who comments on the latest publicly available version of the proposal is belittled for not taking into account the positive developments that may have taken place in secret since that version was first made available. Is public comment supposed to come with a ”best before” date after which it can be summarily dismissed as unreliable just because it has become old news?

    Kommentar av Anders Andersson — 12 juli 2012 @ 17:40

  3. [...] previously responsible for ACTA, a person that Michael Geist also mentions by name. MEP Engström blogged about that meeting later, concluding that CETA indeed looks like the “First Zombie [...]

    Pingback av Bad Faith From European Commission Indicates CETA May Be “ACTA, Episode II” After All - Falkvinge on Infopolicy — 12 juli 2012 @ 20:27

  4. [...] previously responsible for ACTA, a person that Michael Geist also mentions by name. MEP Engström blogged about that meeting later, concluding that CETA indeed looks like the “First Zombie ACTA”. [...]

    Pingback av Bad Faith From European Commission Indicates CETA May Be “ACTA, Episode II” After All – Falkvinge on Infopolicy « SunnyRomy — 13 juli 2012 @ 12:32

  5. Reblogged this on SunnyRomy.

    Kommentar av sunnyromy — 13 juli 2012 @ 12:34

  6. [...] responsable pour ACTA, une personne que Michael Geist mentionne aussi personnellement. Engström blogua à propos de cette réunion plus tard, concluant que CETA ressemble en effet à un « ACTA zombi [...]

    Pingback av La mauvaise foi de la Commission Européenne indique que CETA est peut-être un "ACTA épisode II" après tout | Media Live Center — 13 juli 2012 @ 16:43

  7. [...] Jason i fredagen den 13:e filmerna, är den på väg att återuppstå, denna gång i en ny skepnad: CETA. Mer om detta på Christian Engströms (PP) blogg. Inlägget länken går till är på [...]

    Pingback av 2012-07-13 « Lex Aspie — 13 juli 2012 @ 21:40

  8. [...] a victory in the past few weeks, but it looks like there might be need for another call to arms over CETA. It also seems that you can’t link to the Olympics, according to Kaffee bei mir. I guess the five [...]

    Pingback av Bloggingportal.eu/blog » Blog Archive » Week in Bloggingportal: A Union of Relationships — 15 juli 2012 @ 15:09

  9. [...] de ACTA, una persona que Michael Geist también menciona por nombre. El eurodiputado Engström escribió acerca de esa reunión más tarde, concluyendo que CETA realmente parece ser el “Primer [...]

    Pingback av Mala Fe de la Comisión Europea Indica que CETA Puede Ser “ACTA, Episodio II” Después De Todo - Falkvinge sobre Infopolítica — 15 juli 2012 @ 23:19

  10. [...] prethodno bio odgovoran za ACTA-u, a koga Michael Geist takođe pominje po imenu. MEP Engström je blogovao o tom sastanku kasnije i zaključio da CETA zaista izgleda kao “prvi ACTA zombi”. Citat MEP-a [...]

    Pingback av Loša volja Evropske komisije ukazuje da CETA ipak može biti “ACTA, epizoda 2” - Falkvinge o info-politici — 16 juli 2012 @ 13:05

  11. [...] de ACTA, una persona que Michael Geist también menciona por nombre. El eurodiputado Engström escribió acerca de esa reunión más tarde, concluyendo que CETA realmente parece ser el “Primer Zombie [...]

    Pingback av Mala Fe de la Comisión Europea indica que CETA puede ser ¨Acta, Episodio II¨ | Partido Pirata — 17 juli 2012 @ 4:22

  12. [...] za ACTA a jehož jméno zmiňuje i Michael Geist. Europoslanec Engström o této schůzi později napsal do svého blogu se závěrem, že CETA opravdu vypadá jako „První zombie ACTA“. Cituji europoslance [...]

    Pingback av GreyLinkDC++ » Nepoctivost Evropské komise naznačuje, že CETA by přece jen mohla být „ACTA, epizoda II“ — 22 juli 2012 @ 21:52

  13. [...] sådant är dött, men ACTA-förespråkarna har inte givit upp. De kommer att försöka få igenom substansen i ACTA under andra bokstavsförkortningar. Och förutom ACTA duggar det tätt med andra frågor som också har direkt bäring på friheten [...]

    Pingback av Hur vi vann ACTA « Christian Engström, Pirate MEP — 8 augusti 2012 @ 16:23

  14. [...] ACTA agreement as such is dead, but the ACTA proponents have not surrendered. They will try to pass ACTA’s substantial content under other acronyms. And besides ACTA, there are plenty of other issues that also carry a direct imapct on net liberty [...]

    Pingback av Why We Won ACTA - Falkvinge on Infopolicy — 13 augusti 2012 @ 13:00

  15. [...] till exempel CETA, handelsavtalet med Kanada som riskerar att bli en ACTA-zombie. Eller Clean IT, som är ett försök att införa ACTA via användaravtalen som [...]

    Pingback av ACTA-framgångens tusen fäder « Christian Engström, Pirate MEP — 7 oktober 2012 @ 14:16


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