EU Parliament Delivers Blow Against Secrecy of Trade Agreement
By an overwhelming vote of 663 to 13, the European Parliament passed a resolution that would require the EU Commission to end the secrecy that has enveloped the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
The vote is a stinging rebuke of the "lack of a transparent process in the conduct of the ACTA negotiations," according to the resolution. Writing on the story, the New Zealand Herald says:
EU Parliamentarians have long been incensed that 'no parliamentary approval has been asked for the mandate' (to negotiate an ACTA agreement). As such, the EU Parliament is demanding that they be 'fully informed at all stages of the negotiations.'
The resolution is blunt about the course of action it will take if the EU doesn't reverse course and open up the negotiation process:
Unless Parliament is immediately and fully informed at all stages of the negotiations, it reserves its right to take suitable action, including bringing a case before the Court of Justice in order to safeguard its prerogatives.
As CDT has previously written, ACTA selectively exports U.S. law. In that piece, CDT's Andrew McDairmid writes:
The picture of US copyright policy ACTA would export is heavily skewed towards enforcement, and indeed could result in much stronger protections that we have here… Exporting secondary liability and other strong US copyright enforcement provisions without counterbalancing exceptions and limitations could be disastrous for online free expression."