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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.

[EuropeanParliement] Parliament receives petition against ACTA

A petition calling on MEPs "to stand for a free and open Internet and reject the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)" was received by the European Parliament on Tuesday. The petition had been signed by almost 2.5 million people from all over the world.

"Receiving a petition supported by more than 2 million people places an even bigger responsibility on us to listen to the European people and offer them a place to express their views to the European institutions", said Petitions Committee chair Erminia Mazzoni (EPP, IT), after the petition was presented. [...]

The Petitions Committee will decide on the petition's admissibility at its next meeting, on 19-20 March. If the petition is declared admissible (i.e. if it falls within the EU’s sphere of competence), the committee will then hold an open discussion with the petitioners, experts, the European Commission and other stakeholders. This would contribute to the public debate officially launched in the European Parliament this week (see below for list of ACTA events in the coming days). [...]

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/20120227IPR39337...

[TheWashingtonPost] Opponents of ACTA anti-counterfeiting treaty present petition with 2 million names to EU

Activists handed the European Parliament an Internet petition Tuesday bearing more than 2 million names and arguing against ratification of a proposed anti-counterfeiting treaty on the grounds it would destroy Internet freedom.

The petition was presented by representatives of Avaaz, an organization that uses the internet to mobilize support for various political issues.

“We call on you to stand for a free and open Internet and reject the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which would destroy it,” the petition said. [...]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/opponents-of-acta-anti-counterfei...

[TheAtlantic] Europe in Turmoil Over Internet Anti-Piracy Legislation

The European Parliament positions itself as a guardian of privacy, data protection, and freedom from heavy policing by states, but a bill called ACTA is challenging that.

In the wake of the public outcry in the United States over proposed domestic antipiracy legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), international regulation is also taking a hit. The edifice of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) seems to have crumbled. This time, however, it happened in Europe.

The European Commission has suspended ACTA's ratification, shunting it instead into the European Court of Justice (ECJ). This is read by some as a means of putting the debate on ice for a year. ACTA's Commission proponents seem to hope that a favorable ruling by the ECJ will provide the political cover necessary to defuse their critics' arguments that the agreement is a violation of fundamental rights to internet freedom and privacy. [ ... ]

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/02/europe-in-turmo...

[LeMondeDiplomatique] What's (still) wrong with ACTA

Negotiations on ACTA were formerly announced on October 23, 2007. The ACTA announcement came less than three weeks after the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) adopted the “Development Agenda,” and was part of a broader strategy by right holders to move norm setting and technical assistance into more secretive, closed and captured institutions.[...]

Trade negotiators from the European Commission and USTR make it clear that the ACTA norms were designed to eventually be imposed on developing countries. Despite being the putative target of the new norms, only two developing countries — Morocco and Mexico — participated in the negotiations. [...]

By creating higher norms for damages from infringement, the ACTA makes it more risky for businesses and consumers to undertake activities are may or may not actually constitute infringement. Everyone must become more risk adverse, even when the activity they are engaged in may ultimately be legal. [...]

Despite the massive criticism of the ACTA negotiating process, there is no requirement that the ACTA Committee operate in a transparent, open and inclusive process, and no political commitment from any of the ACTA members to do so.[...]

http://mondediplo.com/openpage/what-s-still-wrong-with-acta

[InfoJustice.Org] Reactions to De Gucht’s Announcement that EC Has Sent ACTA to European Court of Justice

On February 22, EC Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht announced that the Commission has referred ACTA to the European Court of Justice. The court has been asked “to assess whether ACTA is incompatible – in any way – with the EU’s fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information or data protection and the right to property in case of intellectual property… I believe the European Commission has a responsibility to provide our parliamentary representatives and the public at large with the most detailed and accurate information available. So, a referral will allow for Europe’s top court to independently clarify the legality of this agreement.”

The European Parliament published a statement saying it “will wait for the Court’s ruling before drawing any conclusions. However, in the meantime it will continue its own scrutiny of the agreement.” [...]

La Quadrature du Net put out a press release noted that the court’s review will not address important political (as opposed to legal) questions, including:

- Can a wide-ranging interpretation of ACTA’s criminal sanctions (for “infringement on a commercial scale”, including “aiding and abetting”) be used as a bullying weapon by the copyright industry to force Internet actors into deploying contract-based repressive measures?
- What will be the impact on EU policy-making and public debate of casting in stone current repressive policies for which an impact study is still expected, and which are heavily criticized (such as the EUCD and IPRED)?
- Can such a body of policies, impacting EU policy-making, the free flow of information and the freedom to conduct business on the Internet be negotiated instead of democratically debated, and yet be legitimate?
- Is ACTA necessary as we are facing an open conflict between repressive copyright policies and fundamental freedoms, and that other paths could be taken, such as a positive reform taking into account new cultural practices?

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http://infojustice.org/archives/8454

[East Media Group] ACTA not contemplated by or sent to government for adoption

The Ministry of Education and Science, responding to incorrect information in the media about Serbia’s accession to the ACTA agreement, stated that this agreement has not been contemplated by the relevant ministry, nor sent to the government for adoption. [...]

http://www.emg.rs/en/news/serbia/175302.html

[Novinite] Bulgaria Anti-ACTA Rallies Get Anemic

No more than 150 Bulgarians joined the second protest against the controversial international Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement, ACTA, held on Saturday in the capital Sofia.

The rally was held under the initiative of "No to ACTA," and was part of global demonstrations held on February 25.

Similar, small-scale anti-ACTA protests were held in the towns of Blagoevgrad, Vidin, Dobrich and Sandanski.

Activists say they are pleased with the reaction of Bulgaria's cabinet to withdraw from ACTA, but insist for a definitive and final rejection of the ratification of the agreement. [...]

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=136994

[TechPresident] Amid Protests and a Court Case, ACTA Set to Come Before EU Parliament

So far, ACTA has raised many concerns among European citizens who have voiced their concerns online and in the streets. A global day of protest on Feb. 11 has already garnered headlines, and a second massive demonstration has been planned for this Saturday. This is another stage of a growing grassroots movement started about a month ago, when the treaty was signed by 22 out of 27 EU member states.

Next June, the European Parliament will have to vote to ratify or reject the treaty, but what seemed to be little more than a technicality now represents a crucial moment in a public debate on Internet freedom and digital rights. [...]

Earlier this week, the French organization La Quadrature du Net launched a call to action, asking people to voice their concerns to their MEPs, in a week where they have scheduled meetings with constituency in their home countries. This was just the latest initiative of the NGO, one of the main hubs of the movement. [...]

http://techpresident.com/news/21825/amid-protests-and-court-case-acta-se...

[TechPresident] Amid Protests and a Court Case, ACTA Set to Come Before EU Parliament

Next week the European Parliament will start discussing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, a controversial treaty that would set new international standards for dealing with copyright infringements.
So far, ACTA has raised many concerns among European citizens who have voiced their concerns online and in the streets. [...]

Earlier this week, the French organization La Quadrature du Net launched a call to action, asking people to voice their concerns to their MEPs, in a week where they have scheduled meetings with constituency in their home countries. This was just the latest initiative of the NGO, one of the main hubs of the movement. [...]

In an email interview, MEP Marielle Gallo, a supporter of the treaty, wrote: "What is also at stake right now is the legitimacy of the European institutions [...]"

http://techpresident.com/news/21825/amid-protests-and-court-case-acta-se...

[Deutsche Welle] Germany considers two strike online piracy law

A study proposing a two strikes model against Internet piracy in Germany is being welcomed by the Ministry of Economics. The study arrives as others in Europe hesitate to ratify the controversial ACTA treaty. [...]
The German study looked very closely at the French model of Hadopi, the three strikes law that has been in effect there since late 2010.[...]

Jérémie Zimmerman, of the French digital rights organization La Quadrature du Net, contends that a strike system is repressive, no matter the number of warnings, calling it "a slippery slope towards increased control and censorship of online communications," in an e-mail sent to DW.

"'Two strikes' or 'four strikes' - whatever strikes approach can only be the wrong solution to the wrong problem," Zimmerman said. "The only solution to end this stupid 'war against sharing,' that depletes the resources of the state in an attempt to safeguard obsolete business models, would be to move away from the repressive approach." [...]

http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15761430,00.html

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