Against ACTA

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This page lists the different documents or public statements against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).


Australian Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Treaties - June 2012 - ACTA lacks of clarity[edit]

Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties released a very critical report on ACTA, stating that:

"the Committee is concerned about the lack of clarity in the text, the exclusion of provisions protecting the rights of individuals, and ACTA’s potential to shift the balance in the interpretation of copyright law, intellectual property law and patent law."

Semons la biodiversité - April 2012 - ACTA puts States at the multinationals' service[edit]

In an open letter (in French) to Members of the European Parliament, group "Semons la biodiversité" asks for

"the rejection of ACTA, which reinforces intellectual property rights in a disproportionate and unbalanced way and, without any democratic debate, puts States at the multinationals' service".

EU Privacy Watchdog (EDPS) - April 2012 - ACTA's digital chapter violates right to privacy[edit]

In this new opinion on ACTA, the EDPS makes clear that ACTA's call for "cooperation" between Internet service providers and the copyright industry must be interpreted in the context of the ongoing repressive trend against online sharing. According to the privacy watchdog, this privatization of enforcement would have dire consequences for the freedom of expression and privacy of Internet users:

"voluntary enforcement cooperation mechanisms should not be deployed as a means to circumvent the law. The EDPS considers that it is not sufficiently ensured that voluntary measures to be developed by private actors further to ACTA would not go beyond the right balance to be struck between IP rights and data protection."

According to the EDPS,

"voluntary enforcement cooperation mechanisms have already been implemented between ISPs and right holders (...). These include various forms of voluntary enforcement cooperation mechanisms, such as three strikes mechanisms, blocking and filtering of peer to peer traffic, or the blocking of websites allegedly infringing copyrights".

EuroISPA, ETNO, ECTA, GSMA Europe - April 2012 - ACTA will have a negative impact on European innovation[edit]

In a common statement, four organisations representing the European electronic communications industry expressed their worries on ACTA.

"ACTA, as it stands, does not bring the legal certainty needed by the European Internet industry to develop and compete internationally."

They develop with their concern on five articles of the agreement : the injunctions (art. 8), the criminal sanctions (art. 23), the cooperation between businesses (art. 27.3), the disclosure of information to rights-holders (art.27.4) and the ACTA committee (art.36).

Réseau Semences Paysannes - March 2012 - ACTA threatens seeds[edit]

Guy Kastler, General Delegate of "Réseau Semences Paysannes" warns about ACTA's dangers for cultivators :

"ACTA directly puts States at the enterprises' service. The latter will be able to give States a list of products suspected of being counterfeited, asking for their seizure.[...] Such a process is a formidable weapon in multinational companies' hands, as they have great financial means and are able to use litigation's costs and duration to threaten small enterprises unable to resist long court battles."

HAI, TACD, Médecins sans frontières, Oxfam - March 2012 - ACTA [...] is harmful for public health[edit]

In a common statement, Health Action International, Médecins sans frontières, Oxfam and Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue call the European Parliament to

"adhere to its current timetable and vote on ACTA instead of accepting the European Commission’s manoeuvres to postpone the final vote."

They precise that

"ACTA contributes to a damaging confusion between crucial legitimate generics and counterfeit medicines, which is harmful for public health."

Ecuador - February 2012 - Concerns about ACTA provisions on damages[edit]

During a WTO TRIPS meeting, the delegation of Ecuador expressed concerns that the damages section found under Article 9 of ACTA could potentially chill the flexibilities found under Article 44 of the TRIPS Agreement, which sets out the WTO rules on injunctions.

India - February 2012 - ACTA will hinder development[edit]

During a WTO TRIPS Council on Febrary 28th, 2012, the representative of India stated that ACTA and other plurilateral agreements contain

"TRIPS plus provisions that can undermine the flexibilities and disturb the delicate balance provided by the TRIPS Agreement and adversely affect access to health in the developing countries(...). [ACTA] is likely to have a severe impact on the efforts towards literacy and access to knowledge and information that has been at the core of the aspirations of the developing world to convert themselves into information societies and knowledge economies (...). The adverse effect of the TRIPS plus enforcement provisions contained in ACTA and other plurilateral agreements in the pipe line would not only affect the developing countries but could also have an impact on the developed countries."

Health Action International - February 2012 - ACTA's flawed process and flawed rationale[edit]

In a statement against the agreement, HAI stresses that

"ACTA proposes aggressive intellectual property enforcement that would hinder generic competition, leaving healthcare systems and consumers to pay higher prices for medicines."

The group also underlines ACTA's "undemocratic process".

Médecins Sans Frontières - February 2012 - Concerns about the impact of ACTA on healthcare[edit]

In a policy paper, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) writes that

"as a treatment provider, [it] is deeply concerned about the impact of the enforcement agenda on the production and supply of affordable, legitimate medicines. We urge contracting States not to sign or ratify ACTA unless all concerns related to access to medicines are fully addressed".

OSCE media representative - February 2012 - EU Parliament must reassess ACTA to safeguard freedom of expression[edit]

In a letter to the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović urged the Parliament to safeguard free expression when discussing ACTA.

"ACTA might have a detrimental affect on freedom of expression and a free flow of information in the digital age,

Mijatović wrote in her letter.

Amnesty International - February 2012 - ACTA impacts in a number of way human rights[edit]

Calling on the EU to reject ACTA, Amnesty International stresses that

"ACTA's content, process, and institutional structure impact in a number of ways on human rights – especially the rights to due process, privacy, freedom of information, freedom of expression, and access to essential medicines".

The NGO said it was "gravely concerned about the ACTA’s vague and meaningless safeguards. Instead of using well-defined and accepted terminology, the text refers to concepts such as 'fundamental principles' and even invents a concept of 'fair process', which currently has no definition in international law".

Hungarian Industry association - February 2012 - Greater damages for start-ups and R&D projects[edit]

The trade association IVSZ, whose members account for 10% of the GDP in Hungary, is worried about the consequences of ACTA:

"According to the provisions of ACTA, startup companies and R&D projects risk to pay significantly greater damages (...) due to inadvertent infringements".

Internet Society - February 2012 - Concerns about procedure and interpretation of ACTA[edit]

The Internet Society, founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education and policy, sent a letter to the EU Parliament:

"We are concerned about the consequences that may result if some countries take an overly broad interpretation of the agreement, thereby limiting Internet access, legitimate use and innovation."

It also underlines the lack of transparency and the dangers related to the institutional arrangements chapter of ACTA.

Slovenian Ambassador to Japan - January 2012 - Expresses deep regrets for signing ACTA[edit]

In a post, Helena Drnovšek Zorko expresses her regrets for signing ACTA in Japan alongside her EU counterparts. She writes:

"I signed ACTA out of civic carelessness, because I did not pay enough attention. Quite simply, I did not clearly connect the agreement I had been instructed to sign with the agreement that, according to my own civic conviction, limits and withholds the freedom of engagement on the largest and most significant network in human history, and thus limits particularly the future of our children".

EU Economic & Social Committee - January 2012 - Fundamental rights not taken into consideration in ACTA[edit]

In an opinion criticizing the EU Commission's IPR Strategy, the European Economic and Social Committee stress that

"fundamental human rights, such as the right to information, health, sufficient food, the right of farmers to select seeds and the right to culture, are not taken sufficiently into consideration"

in ACTA, and that

"this will impact on future European legislation geared towards the harmonisation of Member States' legislation."

According to the EESC,

"ACTA's approach is aimed at further strengthening the position of rights holders vis-à-vis the "public", certain of whose fundamental rights (privacy, freedom of information, secrecy of correspondence, presumption of innocence) are becoming increasingly undermined by laws that are heavily biased in favour of content distributors. ".

Oxfam - December 2011 - ACTA threatens access to generic drugs[edit]

In its statement, Oxfam warns the members of the European Parliament against ACTA, which endangers access to generic drugs : by giving abusive power to customs, by confusing generic and fake drugs and by targeting technical third parties. (See other articles in en, fr, de, ne, and paper on acccess to medicines in Spanish.

Article 19 - December 2011 - EU Parliament must reject ACTA[edit]

Article 19 released a statement urging the European Parliament to reject ACTA. The organisation underlines that ACTA "fails to provide sufficient safeguards for the rights to freedom of expression and information", as it "has the potential to greatly restrict the free flow of information and the free exchange of ideas between individuals globally and particularly via the internet."

Sakharov Laureates - December 2011 - EU Parliament must reject ACTA[edit]

Thirteen members of the Sakharov Network of winners of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought appealed to MEPs to reject the agreement in order to protect freedom of expression and of information. According, to the laureates, "as Europe grapples with a major crisis of identity and values, the European Parliament has an historic responsibility. By rejecting ACTA, EU elected representatives would help preserve the infrastructure that is needed for the future of our societies and our democracy.".

India - October 2011 - ACTA is a grave threat to generic medicines[edit]

During a WTO TRIPS Council, India criticized ACTA, stressing that it was a “grave threat to trade in generic". India pointed that ACTA would

disturb the fine balance of rights and obligations provided in the TRIPS agreement and negate decisions like the Doha Declaration on Public Health.”

Brazil - October 2011 - ACTA threatens fundamental rights[edit]

A Brazilian official in charge of intellectual property in the Foreign Affairs Ministry says ACTA

"by trying to speed up the fight against piracy, can endanger rights, privacy and freedoms online"

. He further points to the illegitimacy of ACTA, which was negotiated outside of multilateral arenas.

Prof. Korff and Brown - August 2011 - ACTA goes against fundamental freedoms[edit]

The Green group of the EU Parliament also commissioned an impact assessment of ACTA on fundamental freedoms which stresses that ACTA's provisions "either eliminate safeguards existing under international law or, after strengthening enforcement measures, fail to introduce corresponding safeguarding measures." The study also contradicts the Commission's claim that ACTA does not go beyond the acquis communautaire, stressing that ACTA "will directly or indirectly require additional action on the EU level".

EU Parliament INTA study - July 2011 - Calls on MEP to refuse consent to ACTA[edit]

An independent study commissioned by the Directorate-General for External Policies of the European Parliament recognizes ACTA's lack of safeguards for fundamental rights, while underlining that it is

"difficult to point to any significant advantages that ACTA provides for EU citizens beyond the existing international framework.

It confirms that ACTA goes beyond EU law :

"in some cases, ACTA is arguably more ambitious than EU law, providing a degree of protection that appears to go beyond the limits established in EU law."

According to the study,

"unconditional consent would be an inappropriate response from the European Parliament given the issues that have been identified with ACTA as it stands."

UN Rapporteur for freedom of expression - June 2011 - Expresses concerns regarding ACTA's impact on intermediaries[edit]

In a report on Internet policy, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the protection of freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, says that

"while the provisions to disconnect individuals from Internet access for violating the treaty have been removed from the final text of December 2010, the Special Rapporteur remains watchful about the [ACTA]’s eventual implications for intermediary liability and the right to freedom of expression."

Senate of Mexico - June 2011 - ACTA is unconstitutional[edit]

The Mexican Senate approved a resolution calling on the government not to sign the anti-counterfeiting agreement ACTA. In its conclusions, it argues that the digital chapter could lead to privatized online censorship, with harmful effects on Net neutrality (and therefore freedom of expression), access to communications or access to culture.

EU IPR Academics - February 2011 - ACTA goes beyond EU law[edit]

In an opinion, leading European academics shows how ACTA clashes both with EU law and with the enforcement provisions of the TRIPS Agreement, particularly on border measures, damages, and lack of safeguards.

ETNO, EuroISPA, Cable Europe and GSMA - November 2010 - ACTA could lead to extra-judicial cooperation[edit]

In a joint statement, four leading trade associations for EU Internet service providers take issue with ACTA. They criticize the creation of new criminal sanctions for IPR infringements, which go beyond current EU law, and express

"concerns about the provision within ACTA on cooperative agreements within the business community as a means of addressing copyright infringement. Such text could lead to the introduction of extra-judicial cooperation, thereby also contradicting current EU law".

Brazil, China and India - October 2010 - Oppose ACTA during WTO meeting[edit]

During a TRIPS meeting at WTO, leading emerging economies voiced concerns with ACTA.

  • Brazil expressed its disagreement with ACTA, saying that

    "ACTA may affect the balance of rights and obligations embodied in the international intellectual property system between rights holders, on the one hand, and third parties who are users of protected goods and services, on the other".

  • China also criticized ACTA, stating that

    "excessive or unreasonably high standards for IPR protection could unfairly increase monopolistic profits of right holders, eating into the consumer surplus and further broadening the gap between the rich and the poor in the world".

  • India stressed that, ACTA includes "several elements which have far reaching implications for ACTA non-Members".

UN Rapporteur on the Right to Health - October 2010 - ACTA might violate international law[edit]

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Anand Grover, commented during an October 28 public consultation on ACTA and the right to health, that the process for creating ACTA appears to violate international human rights obligations for ensuring participation in law making affecting access to medicines and other health issues.

75 US intellectual property scholars - October 2010 - ACTA harms the public interest[edit]

75 US intellectual property scholars wrote to President Barack Obama to criticize its administration for

"negotiating a far-reaching international intellectual property agreement behind a shroud of secrecy, with little opportunity for public input, and with active participation by special interests who stand to gain from restrictive new international rules that may harm the public interest".

Act Up - October 2010 - ACTA deflect lives saving[edit]

In a statement, Act Up accuses ACTA negotiators to "question the possibility to produce or to spread low prices medicines, therefore to provide treatments for more people, and then to save more lives."

International Federation of Library Associations - March 2010 - ACTA will hamper access to information[edit]

According to the IFLA, "ACTA's objectives and methods endanger the balance of copyright, and seriously conflict with the library community's commitments to equitable access to information and cultural expression." The organization expresses grave concerns regarding "the extreme secrecy surrounding the ACTA negotiations and the complete lack of transparency related to ACTA's procedures". They criticize the fact that traditional international forums such as WIPO and WTO have been bypassed.

Health Action International Europe - March 2010 - ACTA to chill generic competition and threaten the generics industry[edit]

In a document submitted to the EU Commission, HAI expressed its concerns regarding ACTA. "ACTA will have a negative effect on access to medicines, especially in the South". "ACTA will have significant opportunity costs and therefore could undermine efforts to identify and remove dangerous medicines in developing countries". According to the NGO network, instead of putting the focus on enforcing patents and other rights, the EU should help developing countries to strengthen medicines regulatory authorities.

EU Privacy Watchdog (EDPS) - February 2010 - ACTA's digital chapter violates right to privacy[edit]

In an opinion, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), an independent institution in charge of protecting citizens' privacy and personal data, strongly criticised the secrecy surrounding the negotiations. It also expressed its concern over the "three strikes" policies and Internet filtering measures, which are part of the U.S initial proposal for the ACTA Internet Chapter. According to the EDPS analysis, these measures would violate citizens' fundamental rights as guaranteed by European law.

Reporters Without Borders - January 2010 - ACTA is a threat to online free expression[edit]

Reporters Without Borders, an international NGO defending freedom of the press, says it is "very concerned about the threat to online free expression from measures to combat digital piracy and copyright violations" in ACTA.

Worldwide Coalition of NGOs and businesses - December 2009 - ACTA is a global threats to freedoms[edit]

A worldwide coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations, consumers unions and online service providers associations published an open letter to the European institutions regarding ACTA. According to the open letter: "ACTA would profoundly restrict the fundamental rights and freedoms of European citizens, most notably the freedom of expression and communication privacy". The first signatories include: Consumers International (world federation of 220 consumer groups in 115 countries), EDRi (27 European civil rights and privacy NGOs), the Free Software Foundation (FSF), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), ASIC (French trade association for web2.0 companies), and civil liberties organizations from all around Europe.