"Anti-Counterfeiting Trade-Agreement" (ACTA) http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/assets/pdfs/acta-crc_apr15-2011_eng.pdf
ACTA transfers questions of copyright-, patent- and trademark-infringement, from civil law to criminal law, in 39 countries (assuming that Germany, Estonia, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Slovakia will ratify it)* and stipulates, without democratic authority, what that criminal law shall consist of.
It stipulates also that a QUANGO be set up (at public expense) by each signatory-government, to receive complaints from rights-holders and impose, on infringers, penalties "sufficient to have deterrent effect".
The ACTA-Committee, on which EU-governments will have a 27/12 majority, will meet periodically to consider ACTA-amendments, which will become law, in all 39 states, when every signatory-government has ratified them, without further consideration by any elected body - not even the EU's so-called "parliament".
Because UKIP insists on defending and restoring the sovereignty of the electorate and on the responsibility of elected representatives alone to make laws, UKIP is the only party to have opposed the ACTA unconditionally since it was first proposed.
Others (mainly Greens, Socialists and "Pirates") expressed disquiet about ACTA, in the EU's "parliament"; but they also subscribed to a Written Declaration and a Parliamentary Resolution, which merely called upon the EU-Commission to negotiate ACTA according to certain guidelines and including certain safeguards. Thus, these statements failed to challenge either the essential rationale of ACTA, or the EU-Commission's legitimacy as the ACTA-negotiator. UKIP challenges both of these things and so refused to subscribe to either statement.
In the approach to the 2010 General Election, in the UK, this refusal was alleged, by the Pirate-Party, to be evidence that UKIP was in favour of ACTA - an absurd allegation, which had little impact - but the counter-accusation, that the leftists and "Pirates" are ready to accept some kind of EU-negotiated ACTA, is much more realistic, and serious.
However, if the five governments, indicated above, sign the ACTA, then the agreement will come before the EU's "parliament" and can expect a rough reception there. The Greens and Socialists - with 248 votes between them - have said they will oppose it. The "United Left" (34 votes) will follow suit. Most of the EFD - including UKIP - and the NI (total 63 members) will also vote against. The ECR - including the Tories - (53 members) may then feel that it cannot get away with not voting against, in which case, even if all of the EPP and ALDE - including the LibDems - vote for ACTA, this would provide a majority-against of 26, the defeat of ACTA and the first defeat of a major Commission-proposal since 2005.
Prior to this, we shall see if an instrument can be raised - by UKIP-Peers, in the House of Lords - calling upon HMG to withdraw its signature from ACTA. By doing this, we would attract more public attention to ACTA and to UKIP's opposition to it, even though the instrument would almost certainly be rejected, because both the Commons' and the Lords' "EU-scrutiny-committees" expedited the ACTA, last year, without even putting it to votes, in their respective Houses.
(In the Commons Scrutiny-Committee - Chairman, the famous "EU-sceptic", Bill Cash - the ACTA was included among "22 [EU-] documents not raising questions of sufficient legal or political importance to warrant a substantive report to the House", and was nodded through on that basis!)
Westminster having thus become, predominantly, the haunt of EU-sycophants and EU-careerists, it falls to the EU's "parliament" (which is usually even worse) to stand in the way of a seminal, politico-commercial, supra-nationalist initiative, and UKIP will make every effort to ensure that, for only the second time this century, it actually does so.
Andrew S. Reed
Office of Nigel Farage, Brussels
www.ukip.org www.ukipmeps.org www.express.co.uk
"Frozen Ratifications", Surreptitious Anticipatory Measures and Other News
* We hear today (10th Feb 2012) that the Czech Republic, Poland, Latvia and Romania have all declared their ratification of ACTA "frozen", owing to concerns about its legality and constitutionality.
Today (14th Feb.2012) the EU's "parliament" voted, by 579 votes to 15 (only UKIP voted against) for a new directive, empowering the EU's "Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market" (OHIM) to undertake the protection of rights in intellectual property and assemble a "European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy". This is one of a number of ACTA-implementing EU-measures, now being introduced, almost unopposed.
* Today (15th Feb.2012) it is announced that Bulgaria will "delay implementation" of the ACTA, "until other EU-countries clarify their position".
23.2.12 - Very belatedly, an alarmed EU-Commission submits ACTA, for adjudication by the EU's highly partial, constitutional court, the "European Court of Justice" (the ECJ's remit: "to further the aim of ever-closer, political union")
13.3.12 - Finland becomes 11th EU-state to halt ratification of ACTA, saying that the Agreement lacks "EU-endorsement".
13 June 2012
Subject: Why are "UK Conservatives" supporting ACTA?
Conservatives , led by Syed Kamall are actively supporting the EU- Commission's call for consent to ACTA!
Committee on International Trade (2011/0167(NLE)) http://t.co/sNPcyxpJ "Draft report, David Martin (PE486.174v02-00)
"1. Consents to conclusion of the agreement".
Fearing that he would lose the vote on this amendment, however, Syed Kamall then moved a motion to postpone the vote, until a Commission-spokesman could attend the Committee to persuade members to agree to it!
* Why is it that the "UK Conservatives" are the biggest national delegation, in the entire E U-parliament, which is offering its full support to the E U-Commission, on ACTA?
* Why have the "UK Conservatives" chosen wholeheartedly to support the E U- Commission on a dossier where the Commission's own documents show that it comprehensively failed to negotiate any of the safeguards previously demanded by the Committee? http://edri.org/ACTAfailures
A case in point: British student fighting extradition to USA for publishing links to copyrighted material on internet. If at all an offence, this should be a civil matter. No state - least of all a foreign state - should be wading in on the side of the media-moguls. Fighting this is what fighting ACTA is all about!