European Parliament committees reject ACTA

European Commission31/05/2012. The European Parliament committees on Civil Liberties (LIBE), Industry (ITRE) and Legal Affairs (JURI) today voted to reject the International Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement (ACTA).

These are indicative votes ahead of the main vote which will take place on June 21st in the International Trade Committee (INTA), followed by the final plenary vote in July.

The ALDE group of Liberals and Democrats said it hoped that in future a parliamentary majority would be able to support new, improved proposals from the European Commission that differentiated between the protection of intellectual property on goods and copyright on internet-based services.

Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader said that, “Civil society has been extremely vocal in recent months in raising their legitimate concerns on the ACTA agreement which we share. There are too many provisions lacking clarity and certainty as to the way they would be implemented in practice.”

“Furthermore, ACTA wrongly bundles together too many different types of IPR enforcement under the same umbrella, treating physical goods and digital services in the same way. We believe they should be approached in separate sectoral agreements”, he said.

“Although we unambiguously support the protection of intellectual property rights, we also champion fundamental rights and freedoms, …..  we remain supportive of multilateral efforts to protecting intellectual property rights, but ones based on a sectoral approach and a transparent and publicly discussed mandate.”

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