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Deutsch: ACTA – Neue Sanktionen für die nicht-gewerbliche Nutzung von Urhebe...
A new round of negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is in progress until 1 July 2010 at Luzern, Switzerland between 11 parties including the EU.
A document leaked from the EU Presidency dated 7 April 2010 shows that EU member states intended to introduce under ACTA more criminal sanctions for copyright infringements even for non-commercial reasons.
The EU Presidency document stated that the position of the EU Member States is still under examination with regard to article 2.14.1 covering copyright or related rights infringements. Some proposals of this article explicitly plan to apply criminal sanctions to "infringements that have no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain".
"The ACTA agreement, by its opacity and undemocratic nature, allows criminal sanctions to be simply negotiated. The leaked document shows that the EU Member States are willing to impose prison sanctions for non-commercial usages of copyrighted works on the Internet as well as for 'inciting and aiding', a notion so broad that it could cover any Internet service or speech questioning copyright policies. EU citizens should interrogate their governments about their support to policies that obviously attack freedom of speech, privacy and innovation" says Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net.
ACTA will also hinder access to medicine by preventing the production and the exportation of generic molecules. "ACTA would affect the access to treatments worldwide, because it will hinder the access to cheap generic drugs. Without generic drugs, it would have never been possible for 4 millions people to have access to antiretroviral drugs. If concluded, ACTA would be a terrible stepback for millions of people living with HIV worldwide," stated Pauline Londeix, spokesperson for Act Up-Paris.
Some countries, such as India, threatened to establish a coalition of countries against the treaty as they believe ACTA is in conflict with international trade law, and it undermines the balance of rights, obligations and flexibilities that already exists within international law.
The Swiss Pirate Party together with their Pirate colleagues from Germany and Switzerland organised a rally at the Lucerne train station. The Pirate parties and a group of 12 non-governmental organisations are also having short meetings with the Swiss and other delegations.
The Berne Declaration, Médecins Sans Frontières , ACT UP Paris, Knowledge Ecology International, Oxfam, La Quadrature du Net, Third World Network, and representatives of the Washington College of Law issued on 23 June an urgent ACTA Communique, which attracted a huge number of signatories from MEPs, academics and NGOs. The document states that the new treaty will encourage internet service providers to police the activities of internet users by holding internet providers responsible for the actions of subscribers, conditioning safe harbours on adopting policing policies, and by requiring parties to encourage cooperation between service providers and rights holders. It will also encourage this surveillance, and the potential for punitive disconnections by private actors, without adequate court oversight or due process.
In a joint statement of the European associations of fixed and mobile telecoms operators, European internet service providers, cable companies and digital media organisations have also warned that the "proposed obligation on online providers to reveal the identity of their subscribers directly to right holders violates the existing EU data protection obligations."
Also, the International Trademark Association and the International Chamber of Commerce's Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy submitted joint recommendations and comments on the ACTA text and recommended maintaining the "original, narrow scope of ACTA to trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy for ACTA's effective implementation in different countries." According to them, "the scope of draft text of the agreement includes a wide range of intellectual property rights, which risks diluting the focus and overall strength of the trade agreement."
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