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European Parliament Takes Step Toward Burying ACTA 53

Posted by timothy
from the some-buried-caesar-some-buried-acta dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The European Parliament's INTA Committee yesterday soundly rejected a proposal to refer the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to the European Court of Justice for review. ACTA critics viewed the proposal as a delay tactic designed with the hope that public opposition to the agreement would subside in the year or two it would take for a court review. The 21-5 vote against the motion means that the INTA committee will conclude its ACTA review later this spring with a full European Parliament vote expected in June or July. The lack of support for ACTA within the European Parliament is now out in the open with multiple parties indicating they are ready to bury it."
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European Parliament Takes Step Toward Burying ACTA

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:02PM (#39511925)

    Hell, if only there was a way of barring the proposal of "similar legislation" within some timeframe, so it isn't repeatedly proposed in slightly different versions until eventually it passes.

    This is the problem with lobbying under democracy - or, in the EU's case, appointment. Like Wikipedia, it's not what's best that remains, nor even what people want - it's whatever is proposed by those with the most resources to push it through.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:29PM (#39512377)

      Like how Congress removed SOPA from the table due to opposition, but then immediately proposed a new bill with a new name, but same effects.

      And ACTA is still floating around. It's already signed by our lovely president Obama. All it needs now is ratification or rejection by the Senators, but the White House has tabled it. Maybe they plan to enforce it through executive order, instead of through legal means.

      • by ackthpt (218170)

        Like how Congress removed SOPA from the table due to opposition, but then immediately proposed a new bill with a new name, but same effects.

        And ACTA is still floating around. It's already signed by our lovely president Obama. All it needs now is ratification or rejection by the Senators, but the White House has tabled it. Maybe they plan to enforce it through executive order, instead of through legal means.

        I've found that evil usually triumphs, unless good is very, very careful.

      • by cjb658 (1235986)

        My civics class taught me that a bill goes to the House first, then the Senate, then the President. What happened?

        • by Luckyo (1726890)

          Humanity. Specifically our liking for loopholes in rules.

        • by jmac_the_man (1612215) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:38PM (#39513455)
          Your civics class is wrong in most cases. A taxation bill has to start in the House. Any other kind of bill can start in either the House or the Senate.

          Also, ACTA is a treaty, which only needs ratification by the Senate.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          Well the TARP bailout bill went to the Senate first, and then the House. Rules change whenever politicians decide to ignore the constitution with comments like "Are you serious? Are you serious???" (That was Nancy Pelosi when asked where the insurance purchase mandate was constitutional.)

          Now Obama signed the ACTA but is just sitting on it rather than giving it to the Senate for acceptance or rejection. His copyright czar probably intends to enact ACTA through executive rules, rather than laws.

      • by hemo_jr (1122113)
        According to our 'lovely' president Obama, ACTA does not need to be ratified by Senate because it is a trade agreement, not a treaty. So, unless forced to (e.g. by Sen Wyden's amendment to the JOBS Act http://www.bna.com/wyden-amendments-houses-n12884908487/ [bna.com]) or Obama decides to send it to the Senate on his own, The Senate will have no say on ACTA.
    • Since lisbon treaty a few years ago. nothing they do not ratify, can take effect in europe.

  • Lets hope not. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:02PM (#39511931)

    with the hope that public opposition to the agreement would subside in the year or two

    After SOPA, PIPA, and now ACTA popping up back to back, I'd like to hope people will be paying more attention for things like this.

    • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Thursday March 29, 2012 @02:13PM (#39513067) Journal

      You tell me. As an honest quiz question, do you know the fate of PC-FIPA HR1981?

      Remember the run up to busting SOPA? PC-FIPA is *worse* yet I have barely seen any articles on it.

      And we also almost missed the boat on ACTA too. I think we finally woke up barely in time to stop that one too, but it got a lot farther.

      • I don't sadly, I'm just a dude with a pitchfork. You tell me where to throw it, and i throw.
        Now if you'll excuse me, now that I do know, I have a pitchfork to throw.
      • Here is a typical reaction to criticism of a bill like PCFIPA:

        How dare you criticize a bill that protects the children? You must a pedophile.
      • Wow... I hadn't heard of that one before. For those who haven't heard of it either, it's actually called the Protect Children from Internet Pornographers Act. Good luck giving any constructive critisism of that bill without having to move out of your neighbourhood the next day.

        I am lost for words.
        • Yep.

          Wow #1: The title. It's not even evil media corps this time, it's got a different and nastier packaging.

          Wow #2: That you hadn't heard of it. Not even on here. I submitted a story on it once to the firehose and it was blocked.

        • And there's two more behind that, back in the "cyber security" packaging again, and those are even more obscure.

          Those are even just the "big packaging engines" to sell these bills. Lately they're getting ludicrous, like the recent move to *kill* the amendment that *stops* employers from asking for your Facebook logins.

          Or how about the new Troll trick of using Florida law to attempt to get your name from your ISP for troll-suit purposes. Those got barely stopped last week by a couple of awake judges, but it

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The lack of support for ACTA within the European Parliament is now out in the open with multiple parties indicating they are ready to bury it.

    The members of the media industry have very very good shovels.

  • Encouraging (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaMattster (977781) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:08PM (#39512005)
    One could draw the conclusion that Europe is sick of the attempts by the United States at hegemony and is outrightly rejecting ACTA in a way of forcing the United States to legislate its own backyard only. However, SOPA and PIPA have failed miserably and the sue for profit outfit Righthaven was dealt a swift and severe hand of defeat. In fact, they effectively no longer exist. Think of the companies that lost a lot of money due to that scheme. They probably lost more money paying Righthaven for its legal services than they might have lost through perceived copyright violation.
    • Re:Encouraging (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:45PM (#39512619)
      The Content Lords' new business plan is to become one with major ISPs, so the content creators are also the content providers. A key to this is the effective destruction of the FCC by their 'kept women', the GOP. Then, with universal data caps (with exemptions for in-network services such as Comcast's TV on XBox play), the Open Internet will be murdered and replaced with glorified cable TV networks.
  • ...but bitter experience teaches me that copyright thugs have deep pockets, they don't *get* *it* and they're willing to play the long game. For every SOPA, PIPA and ACTA, there are a bazillion legislators that are willing to take Big Media's dime.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    According to the WRA precendent set down by the ELA 5 years ago, though, this won't fly. Rejecting a proposal is only limited to BHA-type laws, and cannot go against ELA-enforced HHO measures. First things first - the EP needs to MT ratify ACTA.

  • EPP group coordinator Daniel Caspary (DE, EPP), explained that EPP MEPs had voted against referring ACTA to the EU Court of Justice as "at the moment there is no need to do so, it because the file will anyway go to the court - according to intentions announced by the European Commission".

    Unfortunately it looks like the unelected buerocrats in the European Commission can push this for court review despite the will of the democratic parliament. This is exactly why people hate the EU. Get rid of the European Commission and we'll talk.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is exactly why people hate the EU. Get rid of the European Commission and we'll talk.

      The real power is not with the parliament, nor the commission.

      The real power is (and has always been) with the European Council [wikipedia.org].

      • The real power is (and has always been) with the European Council

        Hear, hear.

        While the Commission is no more democratically elected than the Council, at least they are serious about transparency. The Council holds a disproportionate amount of power, and they are completely opaque.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Isn't the EU Commission the executive branch? Can't the government function without an executive?

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @01:38PM (#39512479)
    Or more accurately: merely re-naming for round two?
  • One thing I've heard very recently, and this may be a slight exaggeration but I think this rejection of ACTA kinda shows it: Do the people fear the government or does the government fear the people?

    If you think about it, why would the European politicians actually care about not passing ACTA? They get their bribes from interested parties for their support of course, but the difference must be that they fear the people will vote them out of the office. That's the only thing I can think of that prevents th

    • by PPH (736903)

      The elected government fears the people. The people fear the bureaucrats. The bureaucrats fear no-one and, if they don't get their way, they'll cause grief in the name of the elected in the eyes of the public. Question* Schneier before Congress? The TSA will start shoving gloved hands up orifices and crediting Congress with the requirement. Then, good luck getting re-elected.

      In the EU, ACTA is seen as primarily an American interest. So EU bureaucrats are less likely to go to bat for it. As a result, the e

  • These things never really go away after they are buried.

  • Bury it? Yeah right.

    They're just waiting for the new cheques to clear and people to start looking the other way again.

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