Industrial Policy Arguments Against ACTA

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Below are arguments that you can use to convince the members of the "Industry, Transport, Research and Energy" (ITRE) committee of the dangers of ACTA.

The ITRE committee's next [ meeting] is on March 19th and March 21st, 2012.

ACTA won't foster innovation

ACTA will affect small and innovative market entrants

ACTA will also chill innovation in. By extending the scope of criminal sanctions for “aiding and abetting” to such “infringement on a commercial scale”, ACTA will create legal tools threatening any actor of the Internet. Widespread social practices, like not-for-profit file-sharing between individuals, as well as editing a successful information website or distributing innovative technological tools, 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. They will then be forced to implement censorship measures harming the free Internet.

EDRi's analysis of ACTA's "criminal sanctions" chapter

===ACTA was designed by user

ACTA was mostly designed by US major companies (movie, music, software, pharma) who want to pressure Internet actors worldwide into privately policing their networks and taking sanctions1 against their users, bypassing national judicial authorities. These sanctions can only amount to automated filtering/blocking/removing of content and websites, with obvious implications for national citizens' freedom of speech, privacy and right to a fair trial.

ACTA won't protect European SMEs

Geographical indications – a key point for Europe's small businesses and cultural heritage – are mostly excluded from ACTA. The few references to geographical indications in ACTA will have no or very little effect on third countries' national law (the United States for instance, won't even upgrade its laws to the ACTA standard on geographical indications).

ACTA wil fail to address harmful counterfeiting

ACTA is a badly drafted text which takes the wrong approach to tackling counterfeits

If protecting health and safety was really the priority, then ACTA is just a bad and overbroad text. It mixes many types of infringement and enforcement measures, in which life-endangering fake products and organized crime activities are considered together with not-for-profit activities that play a role in access to knowledge, innovation, culture and freedom of expression.

Study on how ACTA would hamper the right to health

ACTA will do little against truly harmful counterfeiting

China, Russia, India and Brazil, countries where most of counterfeiting is produced, are not part of ACTA, and have stated publicly that they will never be. Considering the widespread opposition to ACTA, the agreement has lost all legitimacy on the international stage. It hampers the advent of a consensus worldwide to fight "real" counterfeiting".

Statements by China, India and Brazil in TRIPS Council against ACTA

Numbers regarding job losses due to counterfeiting are bogus

The copyright lobbies have issued dozens of studies alleging that file-sharing and counterfeiting had disastrous economic consequences. In March 2010, during the debate at the EU Parliament on the so-called Gallo report, a “study” by TERA consultants was sent to MEPs in order to "demonstrate" that file-sharing would result in impressive job losses in the European Union. As usual, their methodolgy was bogus, and their findings based on no empirical data. The Social Science Research Council – which carried out a major study on piracy - was quick to publish a document debunking the study's findings. According to the SSRC, even if one admits that some sectors in the industry suffer losses directly because of file-sharing, the TERA study overlooks the fact that the money not spent on, say, CDs and DVDs is simply transferred to other activities and sectors, which potentially better contribute to EU economic and social wealth.

Note by the Social Sciences Research Council on “piracy and jobs in Europe” (PDF)