Civil Liberties Arguments Against ACTA

De La Quadrature du Net


Below are arguments that you can use to convince the "Civil Liberties" (LIBE) committee's members of ACTA's dangers.




ACTA lacks crucial safeguards to protect fundamental rights[modifier]

A study requested by the European Parliament underlines the lack of safeguards and calls on the EU Parliament to reject ACTA[modifier]

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". 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".

Study commissioned by EU Parliament on ACTA (pdf)

European Economic & Social Committee stresses that fundamental rights are not taken into consideration in ACTA[modifier]

In an opinion criticizing the EU Commission's IPR Strategy, the European Economic and Social Committee stresses 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. ".

Opinion of the EESC

ACTA will drastically impact fundamental rights online[modifier]

ACTA will lead to extra-judicial censorship measures[modifier]

If ACTA is adopted, it will be possible for the entertainment industry to exert pressure on every Internet actor under the threat of criminal sanctions for "aiding and abetting" infringements (art.23.4) and under the guise of "cooperation" between both parties (art.27.3). ACTA also mentions "expeditious measures to deter further infringements" (art.27.1). Under this legal framework, Internet actors will be gradually compelled to deploy automated blocking, filtering of communications and deletion of online content. Such measures will inevitably restrict users' freedoms online.

Detailed analysis of ACTA's digital chapter

Mexican lawmakers stress the dangers of ACTA for freedom of expression and culture[modifier]

In June 2011, 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.

Resolution of the Senate of Mexico on ACTA

Criminalization of not-for-profit sharing was part of the EU Commission ACTA mandate[modifier]

The Commission claims that ACTA does not target non-commercial users infringing on copyright. Why then does the 18 July 2007 discussion paper submitted in interservice consultation in the EU Commission for the negotiating mandate of ACTA include the criminalisation of not-for-profit sharing by individuals? The latter explicitly refers to the need of criminal sanctions for: “significant willful infringements without motivation for financial gain to such an extent as to prejudicially affect the copyright owner (e.g., internet piracy)”. This is a fundamentally flawed policy, and ACTA will make it impossible to reform in the EU while exporting it worldwide.

EC discussion paper on ACTA negotiating mandate