La Quadrature du Net on Mon, 27 Sep 2010 09:20:21 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> ACTA: Game Over?

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ACTA: Game Over?

*** Paris, September 24th 2010 - The Tokyo round of negotiations on the 
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has just begun. It could be the last 
one before the signature of the final agreement. The text, which is now 
close to completion, remains an alarming threat on fundamental freedoms 
online, and could lead to the generalization of anti-democratic legislation 
and governance. ***

The latest leaked text - dated August 25th - of ACTA still contains 
provisions calling for closer cooperation between Internet Service 
Providers and rights holders [1], favored by legal and monetary pressure 
put on Internet technical intermediaries (access and service providers, 
ISPs) [2].

These repressive and dangerous policies in ACTA are consistent with the 
position of EU institutions, who are also pushing for extra-legislative and 
extra-judicial measures to deal with online file sharing. According to the 
Commission, backed up by the Members of the European Parliament who voted 
in favor of the Gallo report, "Rights holders and other stakeholders should 
be encouraged to exploit the potential of collaborative approaches and to 
place more emphasis on joining forces to combat counterfeiting and piracy 
in the common interest, also taking advantage of possible alternatives to 
court proceedings for settling disputes" [3].

"ACTA pushes for the creation of private copyright police and justice of 
the Net, in negation of the right to a fair trial. Such policies would 
inevitably affect both freedom of expression and privacy." declares Jérémie 
Zimmermann, spokesperson of the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du 

Article 5 and 6 of ACTA, finalized unlike most of the text, create an "ACTA 
committee" which will play a key role in processing subsequent amendments 
to the agreement, subject to forms of approval by the parties that are 
defined in ambiguous terms. This procedure risks amounting to the creation 
of a parallel legislative process bypassing public opinion and democracy.

"ACTA is an experiment in the circumvention of democracy. Even if the most 
offensive provisions become less visible in the final text, ACTA must be 
rejected as such. If we tolerate it, we will create a precedent and 
Parliaments will be pressured to rubber stamp packages negotiated without 
democratic debate." concludes Zimmermann.

* Références *

1. See article 2.18.3: "Each Party shall endeavor to promote cooperative 
efforts within the business community to effectively address intellectual 
property rights infringement (...)"

2. Article 2.x before article 2.2 in the "civil enforcement" chapter

3. See p. 10 of the communication of September 11th, 2009, regarding the 
enforcement of intellectual property rights:

** About la Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that promotes the rights and 
freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for 
the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding 
principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge. 

In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better 
understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and 
pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage 
citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the 
digital age.

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international 
NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society 
Institute and Privacy International.

List of supporting organisations :

** Press contact and press room **

Jérémie Zimmermann,, +33 (0)615 940 675

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