21 June 2012

ACTA No In EU Parliament Comes Closer

Today the Committee on International Trade voted about the controversial anti-piracy agreement ACTA, and the result was a rejection. The Committee will thus recommend the EU Parliament to say No to ACTA.

ACTA is an international agreement on common guidelines on how counterfeiting and piracy should be resisted. It was negotiated by the US, EU, Japan and several other countries.

ACTA supporters believe that the agreement is a necessary protection for intellectual property rights, because ideas, knowledge and creativity are the most important capital in the modern economy. The supporters of ACTA mean that in a globalized world, the protection should to be international. Supporters also point out that no EU legislation will be amended because of the agreement. Business Solutions is one of the companies that thrive on just ideas, knowledge and creativity!  We are not especially worried about counterfeiting and piracy for our own sake, though, because it is difficult - if not  impossible - to copy the  ideas, knowledge and creativity of the team.

I can understand the concerns that led up to the ACTA agreement, but there are also disadvantages with it.  Opponents say that ACTA favors companies at the expense of civil liberties and rights. They warn that poor countries may find it harder to get hold of things like medical supplies. Patents and copyrights may create unfair barriers and prevent countries with less research resources from getting what they need to develop.

Protests from European citizens against ACTA have been fierce. A petition got 2.8 million signatures, and demonstrations were held across Europe. I have earlier written about ACTA in several blog posts, but this is perhaps the last time. The EU Parliament will vote about the agreement on 5 July, but now that five different committees have said no to ACTA it is highly unlikely that the Parliament will say yes.

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