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Intellectual Property Enforcement

Numbers at ACTA demonstrations exceed expectations

9 June, 2012

After all of the announcements of ACTA's death, one would wonder why anybody would have felt the need to turn up to the anti-ACTA demonstrations today. In April, the European Parliamentarian in charge of the ACTA dossier said that ACTA was dead.[1] In May, the European Commissioner for the Information Society, Neelie Kroes, said that ACTA was dead.[2] Now, in June, four different European Parliament Committees rejected ACTA.[3] Was tumbleweed going to be the only participant at the ACTA demonstrations?

ENDitorial: ACTA – the final weeks before the EP's vote

6 June, 2012

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: ENDitorial: ACTA vor der endgültigen Abstimmung im EP

Over the past two weeks, all four European Parliament (EP) committees that are providing an “opinion” on ACTA have voted against the proposal. The next steps will be a vote in the responsible Committee on 20/21 June and final vote of the full Parliament on 3 July.

It is worth remembering that, so far, a total of only 175 parliamentarians have had an opportunity to vote and 98 of these (56%) voted against ACTA, with a large number of abstentions. The results in the different committees varied widely.

French Court considers YouTube non liable for the content

6 June, 2012

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Frankreich: YouTube haftet nicht für Inhalte

On 29 May 2012, in a case brought to court by TF1 against Google for its YouTube service, the High Court of Paris ruled that YouTube was just a hosting service and therefore not bound to police the content posted on it by its users.

TF1 sued Google in 2008 over a series of extracts from its programs posted on YouTube by its users.

ACTA: European Commission negotiation failures

29 May, 2012

The documents made public today provide an extensive guide to the failures of the European Commission to negotiate effectively on behalf of European citizens and businesses. They also provide an insight into the ways in which the Commission's public relations "spin"; seeks to hide these failures.

Meeting notes Paris 2008
Meeting notes Rabat 2009
Meeting notes Seoul 2009
Meeting notes Guadalajara 2010

What the EC asked for:

   What the EC got:


Some transparency for US companies, but nothing meaningful for European citizens and businesses.


EU Presidency actively choosing not to brief EU Member States.

No mandatory enforcement of intellectual property law by ISPs

Mandatory obligations on states party to ACTA to encourage enforcement of intellectual property law by ISPs.

No change to substantive copyright law

A further complication of EU law on copyright exceptions and limitations.

Prioritisation of health and safety issues in international cooperation


Adequate environmental protection in the disposal of seized material

A "safeguard" which creates no change to the status quo. In essence, nothing

Definitions of key terms in ACTA


Protection for geographical indications


1. The Commission claims that the ACTA process was transparent.The documents show this to be false.

From the earliest stages, the Commission made weak and unsuccessful efforts to have a transparent process.[2] Despite support from Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the EU was unable to gain any meaningful concessions. The EU ultimately agreed to work to keep all versions away from the public.

Finland: Open WiFi owners are not liable for copyright infringement|

23 May, 2012

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Finnland: Betreiber offener W-Lans haften nicht für Urheberrechtsvers...

On 14 May 2012, a District Finish Court decided on the condition of open WiFi owners in respect to their liability for online copyright infringements. In a two-year long case brought to court by the anti-piracy group CIAPC against a Finnish woman for copyright infringement, the court decided in favour of the defendant.

The issue was that the woman had been accused of having illegally shared copyrighted material by Direct Connect (DC++) protocol through her Internet connection.

Hearing at LIBE on ACTA

23 May, 2012

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Anhörung zu ACTA im LIBE Ausschuss

On 16 May 2012, LIBE Rapporteur on ACTA, Mr. D. Droustas, hosted the event “the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) – Compatibility of ACTA with Fundamental Rights”. He welcomed the audience stating that European Parliament (EP)’s task policy is to overcome a challenge, namely to find a balance between new technology, artists’ creations and fundamental rights. He said that Europe has to show the right direction to the international community, in particular allowing citizens to participate proactively in the debate.

The Hague district court orders Pirate Party to censor its website

23 May, 2012

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Den Haag: Piratenpartei muss ihre Website zensurieren

On 10 May 2012, the district court of The Hague gave its verdict in the case of BREIN against the Dutch Pirate Party.

European Parliament rejects IPR as an internal security risk

23 May, 2012

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: EP lehnt Durchsetzung von Urheberrechten im Rahmen der EU-Sicherheitst...

With a crushing majority of 503 in favour to 55 against and 56 abstentions, the European Parliament yesterday rejected the inclusion of the protection of intellectual property rights as a key element in the protection of Europe's internal security.

In a piece of what the Commission appears to have believed to be a piece of masterful political syllogism, it explained in its Internal Security Strategy (adopted at the end of 2010) that dangerous counterfeit goods are a threat

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