Gröna MEPs tar till okonventionella metoder för att få mer information om ACTA

Postad den av acta

En grupp gröna ledamöter i EU-Parlamentet, däribland Carl Schlyter och Christian Engström, har idag skrivit under ett brev (hela brevet finns nederst i inlägget) som skickats till WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) och WTO (World Trade Organisation). I brevet ber Parlamentarikerna WTO och WIPO, som är de normala kanalerna för att förhandla om innehåll som det i ACTA-avtalet, om en konsekvensanalys om vilka effekter ACTA-avtalet skulle kunna få för integritet, medborgerliga rättigheter, mänskliga rättigheter, tillgång till kunskap/information och tillgång till läkemedel.

I brevet ber parlamentarikerna också WTO och WIPO om deras expertutlåtande om behovet av nya globala normer gällande immaterialrätt.

WIPO har länge fungerat som en multilateral förhandlingsarena, där förhandlingstexter m.m. är tillgängliga och öppenheten och insynen i förhandlingsprocessen betydligt bättre än i den plurilaterala och sekretessbelagda förhandlingsprocess som nu utgör grunden för ACTA-avtalet.

Genom att skicka brevet ger de gröna Parlamentarikerna nu framför allt WIPO (vars auktoritet underminerats av ACTA-parternas frikopplade förhandlingar) möjlighet att ge sig in i ACTA-debatten, och framför allt, genom sin expertis får WIPO möjligheten att göra en konsekvensanalys av vad avtalet kan tänkas få för effekter, vilket, som vi nu skrivit om i de två senaste inläggen, uppenbarligen har gjorts bristfälligt när det gäller både datalagrinsdirektivet och uppgifter rörande piratverksamhetens kostnader.  

Brevet (versionen till WTO) i sin helhet:

Brussels, April 15, 2010 Dear Mr. Lamy, 

We are writing to bring to your attention the European Parliament  Resolution of 10 March 2010 on Transparency and State of Play of the  Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) [1], showing the growing  concern of European citizens regarding ACTA. We are aware that this is  an unconventional request but considering the circumstances, we would  like World Trade Organization (WTO) to provide an expert assessment and  analysis of the current provisions of ACTA from your institutional  viewpoint as one the two specialised organisations entrusted with the  issue of norm-setting in the field of intellectual property rights and  related issues. 

As stated in the European Parliament Resolution of March 10, 2010 which  was supported by 633 MEPs, we deplore ”the calculated choice of the  parties not to negotiate through well-established international bodies,  such as World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and WTO, which  have established frameworks for public information and consultation”. We  note with disappointment that ACTA has bypassed the multilateral WTO and  WIPO institutions which have structured and practised processes to  assure participation, information sharing and transparency in  international norm-setting negotiations. 

As far as we have been able to assess, information such as dates,  venues, agendas and participant lists of meetings are routinely released  during negotiations at multilateral fora. We support WTO practices of  making negotiating texts available, when distributed to all members of  the negotiation as well as procedures which allow accredited  non-governmental organisations to attend meetings and organise  side-events. In contrast, the 8th round of ACTA currently being  negotiated in New Zealand is secret from the public and consumers, and  in defiance of the principles of democratic decision making. 

Consequently, we feel we are not adequately informed of the negotiating  objectives of ACTA. We believe we share that with many of our  colleagues, demonstrated by a call through the Parliament Resolution for  the Commission to undertake ”an impact assessment of the implementation  of ACTA with regard to fundamental rights and data protection, ongoing  EU efforts to harmonise IPR enforcement measures, and e-commerce, prior  to any EU agreement on a consolidated ACTA treaty text, and to consult  with Parliament in a timely manner about the results of the assessment”. 

WTO is a leading forum where international intellectual property norms  are successfully discussed, adopted and even disputed. In light of WTO’s  activities regarding issues related to the enforcement of intellectual  property, we request that your organisation conduct an evidence-based  impact assessment of ACTA and its ramifications for consumers in  relation to privacy, civil rights, human rights, and access to medicines  and information. 

Furthermore, we seek your assistance in clarifying certain aspects of  the agreement and to address our concerns in the following areas: 

Transparency in WTO/WIPO Intellectual Property negotiations 

It is our understanding that WTO and WIPO norm setting activities are  more responsive to multiple stakeholders’ viewpoints and are in general  more inclusive and participatory processes than what is currently being  pursued by ACTA negotiating countries. 

– We request you to provide details of WTO’s policies regarding  transparency, participation and information dissemination, as well as an  assessment of their benefits in multilateral negotiations. 

WTO/WIPO work program on Intellectual Property Enforcement and ACTA 

It is our understanding that WTO and WIPO have established work programs  or are pursuing activities to promote the enforcement of intellectual  property within a balanced framework that includes safeguards for consumers. 

– We request a technical assessment of the need for new global norms and  institutions as proposed under ACTA bearing in mind the enforcement  measures already being undertaken. 

Relationship of ACTA to current International Intellectual Property Norms 

Analysis by experts [2] of the leaked ”Informal  Predecisional/Deliberative Draft of the Consolidated Text of  Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” [3] document dated January 18, 2010  and the leaked EU document dated February 12, 2010 [4] indicates that  proposals in ACTA can create new obligations for countries that exceed  current international obligations under the WTO Trade Related Aspects of  Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Agreement. 

– We request an impact assessment of the extent to which ACTA as  proposed exceeds obligations in current international IP instruments and  excludes the flexibilities and exceptions contained in them. 

For example, the analysis should examine whether ACTA provisions as  currently proposed will : 

  •  change norms in the WTO TRIPS agreement on injunctions and damages 
  •  change the ability of countries to implement the Doha Declaration on  TRIPS and Public Health 
  •  change the ability of innovative and creative communities and  businesses to use existing exceptions and limitations including fair  dealing and fair use 
  •  affect the exportation of goods, or the movement of goods in transit 
  •  increase liability for information or knowledge good intermediaries 
  •  create barriers to access to essential medical technologies, as well  as access to technologies critical to preventing climate change 
  •  undermine competition or limit the ability of government to control  or prevent anti-competitive practices 
  •  eliminate flexibilities that are currently available under the WTO  TRIPS agreement to protect consumers with policies that embrace  national, regional or international exhaustion of intellectual property  rights 

In addition, according to the chapter on Institutional Arrangements  contained in the leaked document, ACTA will create a new institution to  administer, implement and modify ACTA. We have not understood whether  the envisioned ACTA Secretariat will function as a permanent independent  body or exist within an international institution with recognised  intellectual property expertise such as WTO or WIPO. 

– Therefore, we also request clarification regarding the relationship  between ACTA Institution and WIPO in scenarios where the ACTA  Secretariat operates under the WTO, the WIPO, or as an independent body. 

In the event that you are unable to fulfil our requests, we would  respectfully ask for an explanation of the reasons so as to facilitate  further dialogue in these matters. 

Sincerely, 

Jan Philipp Albrecht MEP

Karima Delli MEP

Carl Schlyter MEP

Ska Keller MEP

Judith Sargentini MEP

Christian Engström MEP

Sandrine Bélier MEP

Greens/EFA in the European Parliament

[1] European Parliament resolution of 10 March 2010 on the transparency  and state of play of the ACTA negotiations:  http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2010-0058+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN

[2] See, for example: Major ACTA Leak: Internet and Civil Enforcement  Chapters With Country Positions, 1 March 2010:  http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4829/125/ ; NZ Doing Good in ACTA  Negotiation, 1 March 2010:  http://nathan.torkington.com/blog/2010/03/01/nz-acta-negotiation/ ; KEI  notes on the EU leak of the ACTA text, 1 March 2010:  http://keionline.org/node/788 ; Canada vs. New Zealand at the ACTA Talks,  2 March 2010: http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4833/125 ; EU  proposes ACTA require criminal sanctions for inciting, aiding and  abetting infringements, 17 March 2010: http://keionline.org/node/806 ; Concerns with the Leaked Internet Chapter of ACTA. Computer &  Communications Industry Association, Consumer Electronics Association,  Home Recording Rights Coalition, Library Copyright Alliance,  NetCoalition, and Public Knowledge. March 2010. ; ACTA Provisions on  Injunctions and Damages, 6 April 2010: http://keionline.org/node/826

[3] Consolidated Text of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, Informal  Predecisional/Deliberative Draft, 18 January 2010:  http://www.laquadrature.net/en/0118-version-of-acta-consolidated-text-leaks

[4] EU document on ACTA negotiations, 12 February 2010:  http://blog.die-linke.de/digitalelinke/wp-content/uploads/ACTA-6437-10.pdf ;  see also ”ACTA negotiations – EU counterproposal – possible  flexibility”  http://register.consilium.europa.eu/servlet/driver?page=Result&lang=EN&typ=Advanced&cmsid=639&ff_COTE_DOCUMENT=+6437%2F10&ff_COTE_DOSSIER_INST=&ff_TITRE=&ff_FT_TEXT=&ff_SOUS_COTE_MATIERE=&dd_DATE_DOCUMENT=&dd_DATE_REUNION=&dd_FT_DATE=&fc=REGAISEN&srm=25&md=100&ssf=DATE_DOCUMENT+DESC

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