David Martin: “Say no to ACTA”

In a rather surprising statement from David Martin, the new rapporteur on ACTA and chairman of the EU International Trade Committee, he urges the rejection of the controversial ACTA agreement, stating that the benefits of the agreement do not way up against the concerns surrounding ACTA. The statement is surprising, because mr. Martin has in the past largely defended business interests. Still, I’m not complaining, seeing this new advice. Or should I be?

In the interview with Wired UK, linked to above, David Martin lists his key objections to ACTA and his motivation to urge the EU to reject the insidious agreement.

  • ISP’s acting as the Internet police
  • Commercial scale penalties for infringement without any definition of what that might mean exactly
  • ACTA treats digital goods the same as physical goods
  • The imposition of conditions upon third parties, who were not party to the negotiations

Of course, most of the above is not new to people who have been protesting ACTA. But it is very gratifying to hear it from the rapporteur on ACTA. And of course, this is the second rapporteur with a damning verdict upon the trade agreement. With the European Commission saying that ACTA should go to the EU Court of Justice and that the ratification process should be on hold until the Court reaches a verdict, but Parliament seemingly wishing to vote in June as scheduled, it is beginning to look more and more unlikely that ACTA should pass. We should all be happy that it looks that way and a lot of credit for that should go to the many protesters, both online and offline, who did their utmost to inform the general public and to raise the alarm. It is too early to congratulate ourselves, though. We will have to wait until ACTA is officially pronounced dead.