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ACTA in Parliamentary Committees: Urgent Citizen Participation Required

Brussels, 25th April 2012 - ACTA is following its way through the committees of the European Parliament. Under strong pressure from the copyright lobbies, ACTA proponents seem to awake and become vocal. With upcoming votes in Legal Affairs (JURI) and Industry (ITRE) committees, it is more than ever time for citizens to convince Members that this dangerous agreement should be rejected, and that copyright should durably be reformed.

Yesterday, in a meeting from the Industry (ITRE) committee, a surprising number of proponents of ACTA voiced their opinion: according to these Members of the conservative (EPP) group, ACTA should be adopted, or at least its rejection should be postponed after the decision of the European Court of Justice1, in one year or two... This is emblematic of a new effort by the copyright industry2 to lobby the Members of the European Parliament in order to counter the influence of citizens demanding its rejection.

In this context, the upcoming steps will be decisive: The ITRE committee will soon finalize its amendments to the good draft opinion by rapporteur Amelia Andersdotter, and pro-ACTA amendments are expected to be tabled in in an attempt to change it into recommending to accept ACTA. A vote will take place in the upcoming weeks.

In parallel, the Legal Affairs (JURI) committee will discuss a draft opinion by the notoriously pro-copyright rapporteur Marielle Gallo. This terrible draft recommends the adoption of ACTA and could be put to vote as soon as tomorrow. Citizens must step in once again, and urge the Members of the JURI committee to reject Mrs Gallo's draft and ACTA as a whole, as well as to work towards a positive reform of copyright that will finally set an end to this dangerous “war on sharing”.

“As soon as citizens stop caring about the dull parliamentary process that ACTA is ongoing, they leave a space in which the copyright lobbies engulf. In order to reject ACTA once and for all, we must be watchful of each and every step of its parliamentary procedure. It is the price to pay to be able, someday, to push for a positive reform of copyright that will finally take into account new cultural practices and technologies, instead of vainly trying to combat them” declares Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson of citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

You can get in touch, for free, with your MEPs in the JURI and ITRE committees and make sure they take your views into account when voting on their report on ACTA, by using the Piphone.