ITRE draft opinion proposes to reject ACTA

The European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) rapporteur on ACTA Amelia Andersdotter published the draft ITRE opinion. In the draft, the committee calls on the Committee on International Trade, as the committee responsible, to propose that Parliament withholds its consent to ACTA.

On 24 April Members of the ITRE Committee will consider the draft opinion. The ITRE vote may be May 8th. ITRE Members may propose amendments.

The draft opinion
– notes that counterfeiting, copyright and trademark infringements are covered by ACTA thus creating a one-size-fits-all instrument of enforcement which doesn’t meet the unique needs of each sector; is concerned by the lack of definition of key terminologies on which the ACTA enforcement mechanisms are based; fears that this creates legal uncertainty for European companies and in particular SMEs, technology users, online platform and internet service providers;
– notes that while the ambition of ACTA is to strengthen EU industries, it appears to be contrary to the ambition of the EP in the Digital Agenda to make Europe the scene for cutting edge internet innovation, as well as the strong ambition to promote net neutrality and access to the online digital market for SMEs;
– recalls that data concerning the scale of IPR infringements are inconsistent, incomplete, insufficient and dispersed, and that an objective, independent impact assessment is needed for any additional legislative proposal;
– is concerned that the ACTA text does not ensure a fair balance between the right to intellectual property and the freedom to conduct business, the right to protection of personal data and the freedom to receive or impart information, the requirement of which was recently ruled by the European Court of Justice;

The opinion refers to three earlier Parliament resolutions and the recent European Court of Justice SABAM versus Netlog case.

Four committees will formulate an opinion, the International Trade Committee will formulate a report, after that the plenary session of Parliament will vote whether to give consent to ACTA or not. See the Parliament’s Procedure file.