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CETA: ACTA Sneaking in the Back Door After All

by the EU parliament at the beginning of July, network activists have been warning that parts of the agreement – the most highly contested ones – may still be slipped in.
, the spirit of ACTA lives on – in projects like IPRED 2, TPP and CETA. That previously contested provisions are now part of CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU, was revealed by a parliamentary inquiry of the independent EU representativeMartin Ehrenhauser,which was obtained by futurezone (PDF document).

These aren`t the provisions for increased "cooperation" between Internet providers and rights holders or the right to obtain IP addresses for civil lawsuits, but "other provisions contained in article 27 of ACTA such as technical protective measures and the management of digital rights (...)," as the Belgian EU commissioner for trade Karel De Gucht explained in answering the parliamentary inquiry.

Protection of DRM technologies
As for ACTA, under CETA this would mean that the signatories agree to adopt legal regulations that prohibit the circumvention of copy protection systems (digital rights management/DRM) and the creation, dissemination and utilization of methods that serve to eliminate such a protective mechanism. This trade agreement strengthens copy protection technologies internationally instead of dismantling them. This makes an agreement on the right to private copies (as is granted in Austria) less and less likely. The "expeditious measures to deter further infringements"  (27.1 ACTA) could also remain.

"Critical elements of the justifiably rejected ACTA agreement are now to be slipped in the back door through CETA. This is another attempt to cement antiquated copyright law. We must complete our reform process in Europe before we limit our ability to act through half-baked international contracts," criticized Ehrenhauser. Every international agreement that contains certain elements, like the protection of DRM in this case, will make it more difficult to implement reforms at the EU level, he said. And there is still the danger that the agreement will contain ambiguous formulations like "fair process" instead of "fair trial." "Fair process" is not the officially valid designation of fair legal proceedings in international agreements, it is "fair trial."

Intellectual property rights still "important"
The answer to the parliamentary inquiry also indicted that the agreement between Canada and the EU will definitely contain a section on intellectual property rights. According to De Gucht, this issue is of particular importance to stakeholders in the EU. However, what EU trade spokesman John Clancy twittered in July already after the Canadian copyright researcher Michael Geist published an earlier draft of the agreement that contained verbatim passages from ACTA was also confirmed. "The provisions of IPR enforcement, including articles 27.3 and 27.4 of ACTA, will not be contained in CETA," it said in the answer to the inquiry.

Negotiations on the economic and trade agreement between Canada and the EU are to be concluded by the end of the year, and there have been nine rounds of talks to date. The negotiations are still being held in secret, and the meeting protocols are not being made available to the public. According to De Gucht, a publication date will be agreed "in close cooperation with our negotiation partners" when the text has been finalized. "The Commission did not understand the criticism levelled against ACTA. The citizens have the right to know what is being negotiated in their name. A stop has to be put to this lack of transparency," demanded Ehrenhauser.




Mehr zum Thema

  • Der "Geist" von ACTA lebt weiter
  • Todesstoß für ACTA im EU-Parlament
  • Überwachungsprojekt: Wie gefährlich ist INDECT?
  • DNP12: Erstmals Netzpolitik-Kongress in Wien
  • Internet Defense League für ein freies Netz

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Barbara Wimmer


Preisgekrönte Journalistin, Autorin und Vortragende. Seit November 2010 bei der Kurier-Futurezone. Schreibt und spricht über Netzpolitik, Datenschutz, Algorithmen, Künstliche Intelligenz, Social Media, Digitales und alles, was (vermeintlich) smart ist.

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Barbara Wimmer