Feeds

EU Parliament backs ACTA with few reservations

Still need more clarity though

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The European Parliament has welcomed a controversial international intellectual property treaty as a "step in the right direction" but has reiterated calls for clarity on the impact of the law on existing EU rights.

The Parliament rejected the chance to adopt a much more critical stance of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a treaty being negotiated between countries including the US, Mexico, Japan, Korea and others.

It voted against a resolution that said that it "deplored" the fact that the treaty was negotiated by just a handful of selected countries and that questioned its very legal basis.

Instead the Parliament voted to adopt a resolution that said that it welcomed changes that were made to satisfy its previous demands and that it would help EU countries to export with less fear of meeting infringing activity abroad.

"[The Parliament] is fully aware that the agreement negotiated will not solve the complex and multi-dimensional problem of counterfeiting; [but] considers, however, that it is a step in the right direction," said the resolution.

The treaty has been controversial because of secrecy surrounding its negotiation; because it operates outside of existing trade bodies the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO); and because earlier drafts reportedly sought to impose measures which could interfere with individuals' rights.

The EU Parliament, though, said that it was happy with the actions taken since it criticised the process in March, when it threatened to take the European Commission, which is negotiating on behalf of the EU, to court if it did not share more information about the process.

"After strong representations by Parliament, the level of transparency of the ACTA negotiations was fundamentally improved and, since the negotiating round in New Zealand, Parliament has been fully informed of the course of the negotiations," it said.

"The negotiated text reflects the main concerns expressed by Parliament over recent months, including on issues such as the observance of fundamental rights, privacy and data protection, respect for the important role of free Internet, the importance of safeguarding the role of service providers, and the need to safeguard access to medicines," said the resolution.

The Parliament said that the treaty would be of use to European exporters.

"[The Parliament] considers ACTA as a tool for making the existing standards more effective, thus benefiting EU exports and protecting right-holders when they operate in the global market, where they currently suffer systematic and widespread infringement of their copyrights, trademarks, patents, designs and GIs [geographical indicators]," it said.

The Parliament voted against a much more critical resolution which said that "clarification of the legal basis for ACTA is needed", and demanded that the European Commission conduct assessments of the treaty's compliance with a number of EU laws covering data protection, software, e-commerce and intellectual property.

The adopted resolution still contained one request for more clarity on these issues, though.

"[The Parliament] calls on the Commission to confirm that ACTA’s implementation will have no impact on fundamental rights and data protection, on the ongoing EU efforts to harmonise IPR enforcement measures, or on e-commerce," it said.

See: The resolution

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.