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European Parliament to Vote Green Light to Next ACTA?

Paris, 17 May 2013 — On 22 May, the European Parliament will vote in plenary on a resolution on the proposed EU-US trade agreement, the “Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement” (TAFTA), also know as “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP). After the ACTA, SOPA and PIPA battles, once again the entertainment industry will try to use a trade agreement as an opportunity to impose online repression. With Wednesday's vote, Members of the European Parliament may be about to vote in favor of the same kind of repressive copyright enforcement provisions that they rejected in ACTA a few months ago.

The European Parliament may be about to adopt a mandate to the European Commission explicitly allowing it to negotiate in TAFTA what they have rejected last year with ACTA, as the current version of the resolution that will be put to vote on Wednesday proposes to “include strong protection of intellectual property rights (IPR)”.

Members of the European Parliament may still have an occasion to remove copyright, patent and trademarks provisions from the negotiation mandate, and avoid an undemocratic trade agreement that will inflict the worst of both regimes’ rules on the other party, while making it impossible to go backwards on failed repressive measures. A few months away from the elections, will they once again follow the industry, or rather go the way of the civil society declaration “IP out of TAFTA” released by almost 50 European and International organisations?

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