Difference between revisions of "ACTA: to keep in mind"

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(Specific arguments for each committee)
(Arguments against waiting for EU Court of Justice opinion on ACTA)
 
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*ACTA bypasses democracy and opens the door to a parallel legislative process, which the European MPs should be particularly angry about.
 
*ACTA bypasses democracy and opens the door to a parallel legislative process, which the European MPs should be particularly angry about.
  
===Specific arguments for each committee===
+
==When calling the INTA committee==
 +
The INTA's report is against ACTA. Ask the vote for the report in its actual state '''without [[INTA_ACTA_report_amendments|amendments]]'''.
  
 +
===Arguments against ACTA's adoption===
  
*[[Civil Liberties Arguments Against ACTA|LIBE]]: state of the report: not yet published
+
*'''ACTA will affect small and innovative market entrants'''
What to ask: take an anti ACTA position
 
                                                                   
 
*[[Industrial Policy Arguments Against ACTA|ITRE]] : state of the report : against ACTA
 
What to ask: vote for the report in its actual state
 
  
*[[Development Arguments Against ACTA|DEVE]] : state of the report : in favor of ACTA
+
ACTA will have a chilling effect on innovation. By extending the scope of criminal sanctions for “aiding and abetting” to “infringement on a commercial scale”, ACTA will create legal tools threatening any Internet actor. Widespread social practices such as not-for-profit file-sharing between individuals, editing content on successful or popular news websites, or making accessible innovative tools of distribution, could be interpreted as “commercial scale”. Access, service or hosting providers, website editors will therefore suffer from massive legal uncertainty, making them vulnerable to litigation by the entertainment industries. This will force them to implement censorship measures harming the free Internet.
What to ask: amendments of the report
+
<br/>
 +
[http://www.edri.org/ACTAfactsheet#criminal|EDRi's analysis of ACTA's “criminal sanctions” chapter]
 +
<br/>
 +
*'''ACTA will lead to extra-judicial censorship measures'''
  
*[[Legal Arguments Against ACTA|JURI]] : state of the report : in favor of ACTA
+
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.
What to ask: reject the report
+
<br/>
 +
[http://www.laquadrature.net/en/acta-updated-analysis-of-the-final-version|Detailed analysis of ACTA's digital chapter]
  
 +
*'''ACTA makes no distinction between for-profit and not-for-profit infringements'''
 +
 +
ACTA modifies the scope of criminal sanctions in EU Member States, ensuring they will be applied for cases of infringement on a “commercial scale”, defined as inducing “direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage” (art. 23.1). This term is vague, open to interpretation, and just plainly wrong when it comes to determining the scope of proportionate enforcement, as it does not make any distinction between commercial and non-profit infringement.
 +
<br/>
 +
[http://www.laquadrature.net/en/acta-updated-analysis-of-the-final-version#footnote10_fg5m2j4|Article 23.10 of ACTA]
 +
<br/>
 
<!-- ===Arguments against an interim report===
 
<!-- ===Arguments against an interim report===
 
The interim report would not bring useful information to the debate :
 
The interim report would not bring useful information to the debate :
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*According to rule [http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+RULES-EP+20120312+RULE-081+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN&navigationBar=YES 81(3)], the interim report is meant to achieve “a positive outcome of the procedure”, which in this case means the ratification of ACTA. It is also meant to include “recommendations for modification or implementation”. However, ACTA has already been negotiated and signed. It cannot be modified.
 
*According to rule [http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+RULES-EP+20120312+RULE-081+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN&navigationBar=YES 81(3)], the interim report is meant to achieve “a positive outcome of the procedure”, which in this case means the ratification of ACTA. It is also meant to include “recommendations for modification or implementation”. However, ACTA has already been negotiated and signed. It cannot be modified.
 
*Rapporteur Martin wants the interim report to question the Commission regarding ACTA's “implementation”. But the Commission's response will be non-binding, politically biased, and therefore close to meaningless. The Commission negotiated ACTA and has already argued that “ACTA does not change EU law” (i.e. does not require implementation measures). Such interpretation is contradicted by a study commissioned by the INTA committee and a legal opinion by leading scholars.
 
*Rapporteur Martin wants the interim report to question the Commission regarding ACTA's “implementation”. But the Commission's response will be non-binding, politically biased, and therefore close to meaningless. The Commission negotiated ACTA and has already argued that “ACTA does not change EU law” (i.e. does not require implementation measures). Such interpretation is contradicted by a study commissioned by the INTA committee and a legal opinion by leading scholars.
 
+
-->
===Arguments against EU Court of Justice referral from the EU Parliament===
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===Arguments against waiting for EU Court of Justice opinion on ACTA===
A Parliamentarian referral of ACTA to the ECJ would uselessly delay the consent procedure
+
Delaying the consent procedure of the EU Parliament by waiting for the ECJ opinion would center the debate on legal issues, and the EP would be perceived as escaping its political responsibility.
 
+
* 4 EU Parliament committees have [http://www.laquadrature.net/en/important-victories-on-acta-moving-on-to-final-steps urged] for the rejection of ACTA, undergoing a thorough political assessment that is enough to justify the rejection of ACTA. The lead committee, on "International Trade", also [http://www.laquadrature.net/en/major-victory-now-lets-win-actas-final-round recommended] the whole Parliament to reject ACTA.
 +
* By contrast, the ECJ opinion will be legalistic in nature, leaving out important political issues (see [http://euwiki.org/TFEU#Article_218 art. 218.11] TFEU). In particular, the opinion will probably not look at the crucial fact that ACTA would set in stone today's contentious policies (an impact study is still expected on EUCD and IPRED). It would block any possibility for the EU and national lawmakers to propose positive reforms in this field.
 +
<!--
 
*There is only one question that the EP can ask to the ECJ, as defined by the treaties (see [http://euwiki.org/TFEU#Article_218 art. 218.11] TFEU): the very same one that the Commission will ask in its own referral. It is narrow in scope, legalistic in nature, and leaves out important political issues. Moreover, the Parliament will have an opportunity to send its written observations to the Court ([http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/P_76616/ rules of procedure] 107.1 of the ECJ, in pdf) during the Commission's referral.
 
*There is only one question that the EP can ask to the ECJ, as defined by the treaties (see [http://euwiki.org/TFEU#Article_218 art. 218.11] TFEU): the very same one that the Commission will ask in its own referral. It is narrow in scope, legalistic in nature, and leaves out important political issues. Moreover, the Parliament will have an opportunity to send its written observations to the Court ([http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/P_76616/ rules of procedure] 107.1 of the ECJ, in pdf) during the Commission's referral.
 
*If the Parliament decided to send its own referral, the consent vote would be postponed (see [http://euwiki.org/RoP#Rule_90 rule 90(6)] of EP RoP). No significant work would be undertaken before the ECJ has answered, effectively freezing the debate.
 
*If the Parliament decided to send its own referral, the consent vote would be postponed (see [http://euwiki.org/RoP#Rule_90 rule 90(6)] of EP RoP). No significant work would be undertaken before the ECJ has answered, effectively freezing the debate.
*An ECJ referral would center the debate on legal issues, and the EP would be perceived as escaping its political responsibility.
 
 
 
===Both initiatives leave out the crucial political questions raised by ACTA===
 
===Both initiatives leave out the crucial political questions raised by ACTA===
 
An interim report and an ECJ referral would center the debate on legal issues. Through these initiatives, the EP would be perceived as escaping its political responsibility:
 
An interim report and an ECJ referral would center the debate on legal issues. Through these initiatives, the EP would be perceived as escaping its political responsibility:

Latest revision as of 12:32, 3 July 2012


This page lists key points to remember in any discussion about ACTA




Main arguments[edit]

Against ACTA in general[edit]

  • ACTA turns Internet companies (ISPs, service providers) into a private copyright police by forcing to take legal responsibility for what their users do online.
  • ACTA brings broad and dangerous criminal sanctions in a loosely defined way.
  • ACTA bypasses democracy and opens the door to a parallel legislative process, which the European MPs should be particularly angry about.

When calling the INTA committee[edit]

The INTA's report is against ACTA. Ask the vote for the report in its actual state without amendments.

Arguments against ACTA's adoption[edit]

  • ACTA will affect small and innovative market entrants

ACTA will have a chilling effect on innovation. By extending the scope of criminal sanctions for “aiding and abetting” to “infringement on a commercial scale”, ACTA will create legal tools threatening any Internet actor. Widespread social practices such as not-for-profit file-sharing between individuals, editing content on successful or popular news websites, or making accessible innovative tools of distribution, could be interpreted as “commercial scale”. Access, service or hosting providers, website editors will therefore suffer from massive legal uncertainty, making them vulnerable to litigation by the entertainment industries. This will force them to implement censorship measures harming the free Internet.
analysis of ACTA's “criminal sanctions” chapter

  • ACTA will lead to extra-judicial censorship measures

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.
analysis of ACTA's digital chapter

  • ACTA makes no distinction between for-profit and not-for-profit infringements

ACTA modifies the scope of criminal sanctions in EU Member States, ensuring they will be applied for cases of infringement on a “commercial scale”, defined as inducing “direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage” (art. 23.1). This term is vague, open to interpretation, and just plainly wrong when it comes to determining the scope of proportionate enforcement, as it does not make any distinction between commercial and non-profit infringement.
23.10 of ACTA

Arguments against waiting for EU Court of Justice opinion on ACTA[edit]

Delaying the consent procedure of the EU Parliament by waiting for the ECJ opinion would center the debate on legal issues, and the EP would be perceived as escaping its political responsibility.

  • 4 EU Parliament committees have urged for the rejection of ACTA, undergoing a thorough political assessment that is enough to justify the rejection of ACTA. The lead committee, on "International Trade", also recommended the whole Parliament to reject ACTA.
  • By contrast, the ECJ opinion will be legalistic in nature, leaving out important political issues (see art. 218.11 TFEU). In particular, the opinion will probably not look at the crucial fact that ACTA would set in stone today's contentious policies (an impact study is still expected on EUCD and IPRED). It would block any possibility for the EU and national lawmakers to propose positive reforms in this field.

The procedure in the European Parliament[edit]

For detailed information about the ACTA procedure in the European system, please see this page ACTA: Procedure in the European Parliament.

How to act?[edit]

To help us fight ACTA, visit our page How to act against ACTA.

Learn more[edit]

  • You should also read our counter-arguments to the Commission's disinformation about ACTA, it answers most arguments that you might encounter by those defending ACTA.

The following resources are also helpful in better understanding ACTA: