Karel De Gucht

Karel De Gucht, EU Commissioner for Trade

CETA, the Zombie ACTA, Must Face the Same Fate

Paris, July 10th 2012 - A leaked version of the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA) contains the worst parts of ACTA. The EU Commission appears to be once again trying to bypass the democratic process in order to impose ruthless repression online. Commissioner De Gucht cannot ignore the decision of the EU Parliament on ACTA. CETA must be cancelled altogether (or its repressive ACTA parts must be scrapped), or face the same fate as ACTA in the Parliament.

ACTA: Total Victory for Citizens and Democracy!

Strasbourg, July 4th 2012 – The European Parliament rejected ACTA1 by a huge majority, killing it for good. This is a major victory for the multitude of connected citizens and organizations who worked hard for years, but also a great hope on a global scale for a better democracy. On the ruins of ACTA we must now build a positive copyright reform2, taking into account our rights instead of attacking them. The ACTA victory must resonate as a wake up call for lawmakers: Fundamental freedoms as well as the free and open Internet must prevail over private interests.

Down with ACTA! The EU must protect our commons

Joint press release by 57 European and International organisations to invite Members of European Parliament to reject ACTA, and beyond, engage in a positive reform of copyright and patents.

ACTA threatens fundamental freedoms online, Net neutrality, innovation, access to and sharing of free/libre/open technologies, education, culture, essential medicines and seeds.

[Major Victory] Now Let's Win ACTA's Final Round!

Brussels, June 21st 2012 – The European Parliament's main committee in charge of ACTA just adopted its voting recommendation to the rest of the Members. Despite intense pressure, the Parliament is now officially advised to reject ACTA during the upcoming plenary vote, scheduled for July 4th1. We now have very high chances of finally defeating ACTA and opening the way for a positive reform of copyright! Let's celebrate, while aiming for the final vote, and build a post-ACTA world! <3

  • 1. Exact date will be decided one week in advance by the EU Parliament's conference of Presidents.

INTA Committee Must Reject ACTA

Joint press release by 41 European and International organisations to invite Members of the INTA committee to fully reject ACTA.

ACTA threatens fundamental freedoms online, Net neutrality, innovation, access to free/libre technologies and to essential medicines. The European Parliament has all the evidence needed to reject it, and if it were to postpone the final vote on the agreement it would be seen as escaping its political responsibility.

On Thursday, June 21st, Members of the International Trade (INTA) committee of the EU Parliament will issue their final recommendation on ACTA to the rest of the Parliament.

So far all committees have called for the rejection of ACTA. We urge the INTA members to do the same, and vote against any amendment calling for the adoption of ACTA or for postponing the final vote of the Parliament. Delaying the vote is a deceptive stratagem that the EU Commission and industry lobbies have been pushing for weeks in order to save face.

Members of the EU Parliament must take on their political duty and protect citizens against this dangerous agreement. It is more than urgent to break away from ACTA's repressive logic, and make the fundamental policy distinction between real, harmful counterfeiting of physical goods and the sharing practices that are the building blocks for our culture and for a better society.

Crucial ACTA Vote: Will INTA Committee Betray EU Citizens?

Brussels, June 19th 2012 - This Thursday, June 21st, the "International Trade" (INTA) committee of the EU Parliament will adopt its draft report on ACTA. Under pressure from the EU Commission and industry lobbyists1, members of the committee could decide, potentially in a secret vote, to call for the adoption of ACTA or to postpone the final vote for years, which would help the pro-ACTA to save face. Citizens participation is absolutely crucial to ensure that the Parliament will stick to the general interest and face its political responsibility by voting a clear rejection of ACTA.

  • 1. Industry lobbies have put together a website in support of ACTA and are sending many letters to MEPs. See http://www.actafacts.com/.

Important victories on ACTA! Moving on to Final Steps

Brussels, May 31st 2012 - Votes were cast in three of the four parliamentary committees preparing the EU Parliament's final decision on ACTA. Citizens' concerns, as well as Internet innovators & start-ups' interests have been upheld in "Civil Liberties" (LIBE) and the "Industry" (ITRE) committees. Even the "Legal affairs" (JURI) committee, usually very conservative and keen to support repression on copyright issues, rejected Marielle Gallo's pro-ACTA opinion.
UPDATE [04/06]: Development (DEVE) committee also rejected ACTA.

ACTA: La Quadrature's voting recommendations to LIBE, ITRE and JURI committees

La Quadrature has sent letters to three key committees of the EU Parliament urging them to work toward the rejection of the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement, along with its voting recommendations.

Action Required on Crucial ACTA Votes

Paris, May 22nd, 2012 – Next week, parliamentary committees of the European Parliament will vote on ACTA. Citizens keen to see this agreement rejected must act and contact members of the legal affairs (JURI), industry (ITRE) and civil liberties (LIBE) committees, who will cast their votes on the 31st of May.

Rapporteur on Fundamental Rights Finds ACTA Contrary to Democratic Values

Paris, May 8th, 2012 – This morning, member of the EU Parliament Dimitrios Droutsas presented his draft report on the impact of ACTA for fundamental freedoms to his colleagues of the LIBE (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs) committee. This draft report is a very fortunate acknowledgement of ACTA's dangers for fundamental rights and democracy, which must play a key role in leading the rest of the EU Parliament to reject ACTA.

JURI Committee Postpones Vote on Gallo's ACTA Opinion

Brussels, April 26th 2012 - Marielle Gallo, rapporteur of ACTA for the Legal Affairs committee of the EU Parliament, is engaging in new political tricks to buy time and delay the ACTA vote. By doing so, she hopes to defuse the political debate, whose momentum goes in the direction of rejecting ACTA.

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.

Gallo pro-ACTA Opinion Must Be Rejected

Brussels, April 24th, 2012 - Marielle Gallo's draft opinion report, urging for the adoption of ACTA may be about to be adopted by the Legal Affairs committee of the EU Parliament. This opinion, full of approximations and analytical mistakes, will be put to vote on Thursday. It must be opposed by her colleagues. Citizens can help.

ACTA Mobilization, And Beyond

Paris, April 19th, 2012 - In the next few weeks, the EU Parliament will continue to work on ACTA, the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement, ahead of its final vote around the summer. This is a crucial moment for the citizen mobilization against ACTA, which will have to resist the growing pressure that the copyright lobbies put on the Parliament. Beyond the rejection of ACTA, the whole EU copyright enforcement policy needs to be revised. Only a reform of copyright can protect once and for all fundamental rights online of EU citizens and push the online creative economy in a new direction, away from blind repression. Here is a state of play on the next steps of the mobilization in the European Parliament.

EU Parliament Must Stand Firm On Its Political Assessment of ACTA

Paris, April 10th 2012 - The European Parliament has decided not to refer ACTA to the EU Court of Justice, and will normally hold its final vote this summer, as originally planned. This coming week marks a new opportunity for EU citizens to engage with their elected representatives in Brussels, calling on them to move swiftly toward a thorough political assessment of ACTA.

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