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European Parliament Committees Reject ACTA As IP Backlash Grows 98

An anonymous reader writes "Earlier today [Thursday, May 31st], three European Parliament committees studying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement — the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI), the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) — all voted against implementing ACTA. Michael Geist reports on how the strength of the anti-ACTA movement within the European Parliament is part of a broader backlash against secretive intellectual property agreements that are either incorporated into broad trade agreements or raise critical questions about prioritizing IP enforcement over fundamental rights including votes and reports opposing these deals in the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Mexico."
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European Parliament Committees Reject ACTA As IP Backlash Grows

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:17AM (#40166191)

    What?! A legislative body actually voted AGAINST corporate interests? I guess the end of the world IS coming this year...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) *

      It's a last act of defiance before the corporations liquidate the EU and sell it to China.

    • See if it sticks and you'll have a good gauge of how much the corporate state is in control in the E.U.

      You notice in the U.S. something like ACTA doesn't even hit the papers anymore. It's accepted without question.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mycroft16 ( 848585 )
      Our legislative body did as well this year with SOPA. Elected leaders will do what the public wants if the public makes its voice heard. In the end, elected officials want to keep their jobs and that means not pissing off the people. There have been huge demonstrations across Europe against ACTA. It's actually not hard to get legislative bodies to do things... it is hard, however, to get people interested enough to care to make some noise.
      • Re:The end is nigh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:07AM (#40166857) Homepage Journal

        Going back to my last post, the depressing thing about the SOPA story is just how big the protest had to get before anyone in the media would pay any attention. Then the protest was demonized (often in a "pro-piracy" light). Then the protest had to even get BIGGER before it was treated fairly at all. The protest even had to get BIGGER THAN THAT before our idiot congresspeople paid any attention.

        This is what I am talking about... it shows how much the corporate state gets listened to (and automatically treated as having the "correct" opinion) as opposed to your every day person that is supposed to have a voice. In that way the SOPA fight was very disturbing... you have to have a petition with millions of signatures before your own representative will even take your call.

        • Then they started working on SOPA II, only with a different name [to include both child molestation and terrorism], and supposedly with 'fixes' to the problems brought to their attention with SOPA.

          Meanwhile, the US gov't is working, in secret, on another IP treaty with South American countries.

        • by Xest ( 935314 )

          It's the same here in the UK, you only have to look at the minutes from Jeremy Hunt as the Leveson enquiry into Murdoch's regime of corruption yesterday.

          Jeremy Hunt said in an e-mail or two something along the lines of "The public mood seems to be against Murdoch's empire right now, so we have to look at how we can approve this deal without that being a problem".

          It's like he outright believes, in his mind, that he has to do what his corporate masters said, and despite being completely and utterly 100% aware

  • Thanks, /. After a morning of depressing news stories, this one made me smile. It even gives me hope that my government (Canada) might make the same realization before their next attempt to ram some US-written legislation through!

    • by jo42 ( 227475 )

      "Yankee Go Home !!!"

    • Re:Reason to hope (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Samalie ( 1016193 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:28AM (#40166259)


      I'm sorry....but I LOL'd for real on that one.

      Harper will never stand up to US interests. NEVER. Between working hard to put the corporation over the citizen and bending over & taking the long dong of whatever legislation the USA proposes up his ass with a grin, we're slowly watching the erosion of the "Canada" that we all know and love.

      We the people don't mean shit anymore to the powers that be.

      Vive la revolution!

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      "It even gives me hope that my government (Canada) might make the same realization before their next attempt to ram some US-written legislation through!"

      That wont happen until you kick out George Harper. Wait, no, that's not right, Stephen Bush? nope, er, yeah, Stephen Harper, that's the one. Sorry, the two are indistinguishable in all but smugness, whereas Mr Harper looks extremely smug about how he managed to get away with electoral fiddling, Bush always looked a bit gormless instead.

      Your last government

    • by thomst ( 1640045 )

      Here's hoping that these EU parliamentary committees can make their objections stick.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        According to the BBC article [bbc.co.uk] on the matter:

        Their views will now be considered by the larger International Trade Committee (Inta) which will in turn make a formal recommendation to the European Parliament.

        Inta's appointed rapporteur on Acta, David Martin, has strongly condemned the treaty.

        In April, he said: "The intended benefits of this international agreement are far outweighed by the potential threats to civil liberties."

        Inta will vote on the matter on 21 June.

        So it seems reasonably likely that the offici

    • Knowing the European Parliament, some minor symbolic thing will be changed, it will be hailed by bought off parliamentarians as a major victory, and it will be passed. No attention will be paid to parliamentarians who stand by their principles, usually from parties dismissed as "radical" and "extreme" by mainstream media.

      • by Halo1 ( 136547 )

        Knowing the European Parliament, some minor symbolic thing will be changed, it will be hailed by bought off parliamentarians as a major victory, and it will be passed.

        The European Parliament cannot change anything about ACTA. Either it passes it ("gives ascent"), or it rejects it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    At birthday parties it's always big fun to point out you'd have to pay royalties to Warner Music Group if you performed "Happy Birthday To You" in public (park, restaurant still catering to other patrons, bar, etc.) due to the song being copyrighted in the year 1935 CE. I have not talked to anyone who thought that wasn't over the top.

    Nowadays, everyone is a printer, is a recording studio, is a publisher, is a CD replicator plant, etc. etc. More and more people that are active on the Internet will run with t

  • IP is the new "gold" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheDarkMaster ( 1292526 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:39AM (#40166383)
    From some time now some guys decided that intellectual property is the new wealth. You do not accumulate anymore material goods such as gold, wood, grains: You now accumulate patents and extorts anyone who try to do something material using - even partially - some of these patents.

    And patents is something perfect from the standpoint of the investor: The cost to generate one can almost get to zero but the profits can reach low Earth orbit (using the calculations of the RIAA)

    (P.S: Damn you, Google translator. Brazilian->English translation sucks)
    • Well, the RIAA's primary business has to do with copyrights, not patents.

      Patent enforcement is a costly business - an infringement suit runs about $2 million to bring these days. So no it is not a zero risk investment.

      • Well, the RIAA's primary business has to do with copyrights, not patents.

        The important thing is you have understood :-) And yes, generally is not a zero-cost thing the enforcement, but can be. As example, see the RIAA wanting Youtube to check every video that is uploaded ... at the expense of Google, of course.
  • Good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jakimfett ( 2629943 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:44AM (#40166465) Homepage Journal

    prioritizing IP enforcement over fundamental rights

    This is the part that gets me. I'm all for punishing thieves. I'm not for slaughtering someone in the courts, cutting off their internet, and vilifying them in the media because they downloaded a couple songs and the episode of Game of Thrones that they missed.

    To me, Big Media isn't sending the message of "we're being hurt by copyright infringement", the're saying "hey, we have enough money to buy off significant portions of governments, it'd be a shame to put it to use in a productive manner (like by streamlining and expanding digital distribution to give people what they want...)"

    • by Anonymous Coward
      >I'm all for punishing thieves
      Let's start by referring to these acts as 'copyright infringement' instead of 'theft'. The two are *not* one and the same, despite what the RIAA/MPAA and their many international clones would like you to believe. Downloading a TV show is not the same as going into HMV and stealing a DVD off the shelf.

      Having said all that, I agree entirely with you - "gaming" the system (effectively buying legislation through closed door, private negotiations) with things like the ACTA,
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2012 @12:17PM (#40168183)

    Today is the sixth anniversary of the Swedish police's raid on The Pirate Bay, as evidenced by the "This Day on Slashdot" on the front page. That was not the reasons for the founding of the Swedish Pirate Party, which had happened 5 months earlier, but it was the first time they got any media attention and their membership grew by hundreds of percents on a single day. Three years later, in spring 2009, the case was being negotiated in the district court and the attention from that is probably what let the party enter the European parliament.

    Now, another three years have passed and two Pirate Party MEPs have spent years inside the parliament. Today one of them had her draft opinion, which was extremely critical of ACTA and recommended the parliament to reject the treaty, accepted as the opinion of the ITRE committe. The other Pirate Party MEP was one of the votes against a pro-ACTA draft opinion in a very close vote in the JURI committee. The draft opinion was rejected, with the result that ITRE also recommends the parliament to reject ACTA.

    Is this what they call "the long tail"?

  • Anyone else find this difficult to read because it is one huge sentence? I like the message but the structure sux.

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