Christian Engström, Pirat

9 september 2010

Scrap the ACTA Internet chapter!

Filed under: ACTA,English,informationspolitik — Christian Engström @ 10:13

Watch my intervention in the debate on Youtube

Yesterday we had a debate in the European Parliament on the ongoing negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ACTA. The negotiating parties are trying to keep the agreement secret, but the latest draft has been leaked on the net. Transcripts and videos from the debate can be found here.

Most or all of the Members of the European Parliament, from all the political groups, were critical of various aspects of the agreement, and the lack of transparency surrounding the process.

Conservative MEP Syed Kamall pointed out that the digital world of the Internet is a different thing from combating counterfeit physical products:

We need to understand the difference between the digital world and the world of atoms. As Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired magazine, once said, in a world of increased bandwidth, cheaper storage and cheaper processing power, digital products tend over time towards free or towards zero. What this means is that many of the industries which are complaining about the digital world have to understand that they must look to new business models. In particular, the phonographic industry and similar industries cannot rely on old business models.

I got 60 seconds of speaking time towards the end of the debate. This is what I said:

Mr President,

We all agree that counterfeiting is a bad thing and that combating counterfeit goods is good. It is good for European consumers and citizens, and it is also important for European businesses, as has been pointed out. It is good that we protect trademarks and the trademark acquis, including geographical indications.

So far, so good. But as Mr Kamall has pointed out, there is a difference between the world of atoms and the world of bits. When it comes to the Internet chapter [of the ACTA agreement], legitimate concerns have been raised by Internet service providers and other businesses involved in that area. There are concerns that the agreement may in fact harm development, harm European businesses and harm the way we take advantage of this new technology.

I would therefore urge the Commission to go ahead, by all means, with the anti‑counterfeiting part, but to scrap the Internet chapter. That would be the best solution for everyone.

…………

Press release on ACTA from the Greens/EFA group

Andra som skriver om debatten: Henrik Alexandersson, Eva-Britt Svensson (V), Ring Broman

Tags: , , ,

14 kommentarer

  1. Alltså, du äger ju EU-parlamentet! :-))

    Kommentar av Daniel — 9 september 2010 @ 10:22

  2. Mycket bra.

    Sedan finns det väl även en del att säga om t.ex. kopior av mediciner för att ge tillgång till dessa i fattiga länder.

    Kommentar av connyt — 9 september 2010 @ 10:29

  3. @Connyt

    Du har rätt – men en sak i taget. Vad jag menar med detta är att vi skall sikta mot stjärnorna men försöka att inte ramla ur trädet när vi klättrar mot toppen. Jag tror att världens fattiga länder kommer att driva medicinfrågorna mycket bättre inom ACTA förhandlingarna än vad vi kan göra utifrån och att vi skall koncentrera oss på att göra skillnad i de frågor där den fortsatta debatten och det fortsatta ifrågaställandet är i fara.

    Det gör C.E på ett fantastiskt vis.

    Mvh
    Fredrik Larsson

    Kommentar av Fredrik Larsson — 9 september 2010 @ 11:42

  4. Fredrik Larsson:
    Det är väl inte särskilt många ”fattiga” länder med i ACTA-förhandlingarna? Hela iden med hålla förhandlingarna utanför WTO och TRIPS var ju att några få relativt rika länder kan komma överens först, och sedan tvinga det färdiga regelverket på de fattiga länderna.

    Kommentar av ANNM — 9 september 2010 @ 12:13

  5. Please use the word ”communication” more often when speaking of electronic communication. I am afraid that you make it too abstract when using words like bits. Most middle aged people and older, the generation in power is many years behind you in their perception of modern communication. Let me rewrite the sentence: ”So far, so good. But as Mr Kamall has pointed out, there is a difference between the world of atoms and the world of bits.” Like this:

    So far, so good. But as Mr Kamall has pointed out, there is a difference between the world of goods and the world of communication.

    Put like that even my 90 year old grandparents understand it to its full extent.

    Kommentar av steelneck — 9 september 2010 @ 13:01

  6. Hur verkar förresten stämningen runt ACTA i parlamentet nu när WD12 har antagits? Finns det en chans att parlamentet röstar ner hela avtalet om det är uppenbart att det inte möter kraven i WD12?

    Kommentar av ANNM — 9 september 2010 @ 15:37

  7. Great to see the EP taking ACTA more seriously.

    As for the ”We all agree that counterfeiting is a bad thing and that combating counterfeit goods is good.”, not all agree on that, but a recent EU-funded study has shown that counterffeit goods actually benefit both the consumers and the creators of the originals:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/7969335/Fake-goods-are-fine-says-EU-study.html

    Kommentar av Matija "hook" Šuklje — 9 september 2010 @ 16:00

  8. We can all agree that it is easy to produce, distribute and store digital counterfeit products, and that they are virtually impossible to stop.

    But should that be a reason to accept it? I willingly admit that I don’t understand your argument.

    Kommentar av MrArboc — 9 september 2010 @ 16:00

  9. MrArboc: ”Genuine” digital works have no value in ”production” or ”distribution” either. Claiming that it is impossible to ”stop”, what exactly do you mean? By impossible to hinder distribution and copying – that may well be true.

    It is however clearly possible nowadays to claim that a digital work is genuine by quite robust watermarking methods; requiring almost total ”destruction” of the information to remove the watermark. One author of a digital file can claim ”this is my work”, and unless anyone else can prove they have a watermark on it – then it can be considered true. If multiple people have put watermarks on it, then it is arguably undecidable who is the ”real” author of just that work. However, the clever artist keeps an ”original” copy with only the watermark that he or her has put on it. In that sense, it is possible to credit the author/artist/musician/developer/journalist/whatever for his or hers work without having to impose the inefficient economical restrictions of ancient outdated copyright laws.

    Kommentar av gastlind — 9 september 2010 @ 17:31

  10. ”I would therefore urge the Commission to go ahead, by all means, with the anti‑counterfeiting part, but to scrap the Internet chapter. That would be the best solution for everyone.”

    I already knew that Piratpartiet was not hardline on intellectual property reform, but it is sad to see that you are happy with scraping the Internet chapter and going ahead with the anti-counterfeiting part, which includes really harmful provisions for generic drugs and other legitimate phisical goods. This is being protested by La Quadrature du Net, Act Up, Knowledge Economy International, Oxfam and many others. Where is Piratpartiet here?

    Kommentar av Foo — 10 september 2010 @ 9:31

  11. @Foo:

    Generic drugs and counterfeit medicines are two completely different things.

    Generic drugs are the affordable drugs that are being manufactured perfectly legally and are saving millions of lives in the third world, and saving millions of dollars in the first.

    Counterfeit medicines are for example a lot of the ”Viagra” sold on the net, ranging from the absolutely useless to the outright dangerous.

    The concerns about ACTA’s effect on affordable drugs has nothing to do with counterfeiting (trademark law). Those concerns are related to the enforcement of patents for drug shipments in transit.

    If a particular drug manufactured in India is not covered by patents there, and not covered by patents in the recipient country (perhaps a poor African one), shipments could still be seized in Rotterdam when they are reloaded there, if they infringe a Dutch patent.

    This has already happened, and we need to ensure that ACTA does not make it more likely to happen again. But this is a patent issue, and not related to the issue of counterfeit goods.

    Kommentar av Christian Engström — 10 september 2010 @ 10:50

  12. @Christian: I am aware of it. I guess I was mislead by your declaration, that seems to imply that ACTA negotiations on counterfeiting are on the good way. Thanks for the reply.

    Kommentar av Foo — 10 september 2010 @ 10:55

  13. […] Scrap the ACTA Internet chapter! Yesterday we had a debate in the European Parliament on the ongoing negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ACTA. The negotiating parties are trying to keep the agreement secret, but the latest draft has been leaked on the net. Transcripts and videos from the debate can be found here. […]

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