Translation Interview Marielle Gallo ACTA pcinpact

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Original Interview, in French at:

NB: the translation doesn't exagerate a bit! Yes, it is genuinely delicious!

(emphasis added by us)

What is your state of mind after ACTA's rejection in committees?

This case is not over at all. There is going to be this plenary vote, for which, don't worry, I don't hold much hope. The only thing I notice is that if there is a fear of fundamental rights not being respected, or of non-compliance with the EU acquis, I don't see why my colleagues aren't waiting for the decision of the European Union Court of Justice, which Commissionner Karel De Gucht has referred the matter to. Now, if this is a result of the disinformation campaign we have been enduring for the past months, I can perfectly well understand the results we've had. In the Committee on Legal Affairs, which I'm part of, the vote was 10 against 12 because we are dealing with lawyers, I was able to appeal to reason, to their reasoning, to Law. Now, in other Committees, you can see what has been happening: people are applauding… what are they applauding? That the streets are making the laws here? I don't know…

Maybe citizens are being applauded, according to several Members of the European Parliament…

We're supposeed to represent citizens, but since they are busy with other things, we are supposed to think for them!

If ACTA respects the EU acquis, doesn't change anything, doesn't touch anything… what's the point of this agreement?'

Signed by 38 countries, not just the EU, the agreement helped, helps, would have helped, might help – I can use all tenses here – harmonise procedures to fight against counterfeiting and against piracy. But especially against counterfeiting of physical goods, incuding medicines or cosmetics which are a risk for citizens' health and safety.

ACTA doesn't always make the difference between these goods…

Out of the 41 articles in ACTA, only one is about the digital environment. ACTA is essentially a fight against counterfeiting. Only article 27 mentions digital issues, which obviously spurred the Internet community into participating in this disinformation campaign. But I repeat this in all of my interventions: the student downloading in his/her little room is not at risk with ACTA. It is well planned that an offence occurs only when it is perpetrated on a commercial scale. Not everyone is Megaupload, as far as I know!

The absence of definition of this term has been pointed out…

That's what you say!

As well as several MEPs…

MEPs who voted against, they don't know their bible. This expression of “commercial scale” has been used for 15 years in all European texts. Until ACTA, miraculously, everyone had understood the difference between individual and commercial scale. It's hard not to understand, but when one doesn't want to understand…

Precisely, a criticism made against ACTA is to not have defined clearly this term and to rely instead on a doctrinal notion.

Did they want us to say “no, the student illegally downloading in their room is not at risk…”?

One might trust lawyers to define notions in a more precise manner… You talk about disinformation, I have a naive question: a campaign by whom, for what?

Listen, you must be aware that even the Anonymous went down into the Polish Parliament! It's not only a disinformation campaign. It's a soft form of terrorism that frightens people. People are being scared. It's a fantasy. ACTA has become a fantasy. And that, that's propagated by the whole Internet network. I have an excellent relationship with Jérémie Zimmermann, but I don't have his firepower.

The PPE is considering a resolution request to delay the text further. Do you think it's over?

I don't think it's over at all. I can even assure you right now that we'll be hearing about this text. I am not aware of the PPE's plans, but I know the ECJ will take a decision. And so, we'll have an answer to our questions. The Commission might take initiatives from there…

To reformulate some elements, maybe?

To specify what some don't want to understand. But I'm not sure that with all these precisions will convince them to approve ACTA because it's ideology, it's fantasy. The name would also need to be changed, because nobody knows what ACTA is, but everyone is against it.

Do you have a B plan?

Me? I have an entire alphabet! The next step is the plenary vote. I can't guarantee that reason will triumph, nor Europe's well understood interest, which is to protect us from conterfeiting from China, India, to enforce good practices in this matter, and to become a model.