22 February 2012

EU Court To Rule On ACTA

Today  the trade head of the European Union, Karel De Gucht, announced that the EU court has been asked to clarify whether the ACTA treaty complies with the fundamental rights and freedoms agreed on by EU and guaranteed to all EU citizens.

Why this decision?
ACTA is an international agreement on how to combat piracy and counterfeiting, and I have written about it in an earlier article when there were protests against ACTA in Poland.

The ACTA agreement text is finished, and it has been unanimously approved by all member governments in the EU Council of Ministers. It has also received a majority support in the EU Parliament, but after protests in several countries governments started to doubt that the agreement will be ratified. This has now made the Commission seek assistance from the European Court of Justice.

Vital knowledge must be shared
As owners of Business Solutions the Kalmstrom family has a strong interest in protecting copyrights, but there are several reasons to not accept ACTA in its current design. One is that we must also protect  the right for everyone to get access to vital knowledge, such as environmental technology and medicine. Here patents and copyrights may create unfair barriers and prevent countries with less research resources from getting what they would need to develop in the best possible way.

Test for fundamental rights agreement
The European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights was agreed upon in the year 2000, and it describes the whole range of civil, political, economic and social rights of all residents in the EU. It will be interesting to hear the judgment of the EU court when it has compared the Rights text with the ACTA.

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