Feeds

EU Parliament backs ACTA with few reservations

Still need more clarity though

Top three mobile application threats

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.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.