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Stop the Secrecy

EFF: How CETA replicates ACTA's copyright provisions

Mon, 10/15/2012 - 00:00 -- OpenMedia

When the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was rejected earlier this year in European Parliament, many had hoped that it would signal the end for its intrusive copyright legislation. Instead, these Internet restrictions live on through the Canada-EU Trade Agreement.

Help call on the pro-Internet community to stand against these closed-door treaties and sign the Declaration for Internet Freedom.

Article by Carolina Rossini for EFF

The shadow of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is back in Europe. It is disguised as CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union. As reported by EDRI, a rather strange and surprising e-mail was sent this summer from the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union to the Member States and the European Commission. The e-mail explained that the criminal sanctions provisions of the draft CETA are modeled on those in ACTA.

comparison of the leaked draft Canada-EU agreement shows the treaty includes a number of the same controversial provisions, specifically concerning criminal enforcement, private enforcement by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and harsh damages. These provisions are particularly problematic, and were the key reasons why the European Parliament rejected ACTA. However, given the lack of transparency associated with the CETA discussions (both Canada and EU insist that the draft text remain secret), the concerns that CETA may replicate ACTA appear to be very real despite denials from some members of the European Commission.

CETA is a trade agreement designed to strengthen economic ties between Canada and the EU through “free” trade and increased investment. However, hidden within this treaty are provisions that were essentially lifted from ACTA word-for-word. And just like its close cousins, ACTA, KORUS, and TPP—and other trade agreements that are applauded by the entertainment industry for carrying expansive intellectual property provisions—CETA is being negotiated in secret. Jérémie Zimmermann declared:

The only hard evidence on which we can base our analysis suggests the worst: once again, the European Commission and the EU Member States governments are trying to impose repressive measures against cultural practices online. (…) This trend of sneaking repressive measures through negotiated trade agreements must stop.

This cut-and-paste strategy was confirmed yesterday by La Quadrature du Net, which had representatives present in a workshop on October 10th, where Philipp Dupuis, the European Commission negotiator, bragged that ACTA-like criminal sanctions were still in the CETA draft. Following the workshop, La Quadrature du Net sent letters to Mr Pierre Moscovici,Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance, requesting clarifications and demanding that the criminal measures be removed from CETA.  Read more »

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