Platform responsibility? Get the backstory - check my book The Closing of the Net - only £15.99!

Leaked drafts of the ACTA anti-piracy agreement  confirm that the EU is negotiating on it - in spite of denials by EU officials - and that the talks concern civil enforcement against Internet copyright infringement. Ability to implement them could be dependent on the Telecoms Package limitations amendments  being carried in the European Parliament on 5 May. 


The documents have been made public on Wikileaks. The ACTA - Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement - will put in place a new international framework for intellectual property enforcement. It will address copyright, as well as trademarks, and patents. It aims  to put in place new anti-piracy measures for the Internet, as well as measures against alleged counterfeiting of physical products.

The EU has officially denied requests to see any ACTA documentation, claiming that publicising them would be damaging to its negotiating stance. The draft is being created by the US and Japanese governments, but is additionally  marked as "EU Proposals". This  confirms that the EU is actively involved in a negotiation.  


This negotiation is taking place  outside the usual legal structures, and could pre-empt national and EU law-making processes. Moreover, the ability to bring in the online ACTA measures legally, will be dependent on the Telecoms Package and

certain amendments which permit broadband providers to limit users access.


Not much more is revealed concerning the online measures, except that ACTA will be incorporating civil enforcement measures - these are graduated response or 3-strikes - just rejected by the French Parliament- and content blocking and filtering.


A question asked in the EU Parliament by Swedish MEP Jens Holms , got a fairly standard response.  Holms wanted to know if the European Parliament would be offered the chance to scrutinise the ACTA. The official EU structure for such negotiations is that they are handled by something called the Article 133 Committee, which reports to the Commission and the Council, but is outside the formal legislative structures. The Parliament does not automatically have a right to scrutinise the ACTA, before the EU signs it. Mr Holms fears that it could be adopted over the summer, when everyone in Brussels in on holiday. He says he regards the ACTA is de  facto legislation, but without democratic control. 

The leaked documents on Wikileaks  are scans of physical documents, and the clarity of the scan varies. The documents are of varying dates, from May, July and September 2008. It is notable that one dated September 2008, states clearly ‘EU proposals'.  The document headings say "Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement", and the draft is only partly complete. The sub-headings ‘Civil Enforcement'is marked to be completed, with chapter headings as follows:




  • 24.2 Section 1: Civil Enforcement
  • 24.2.1 Article 2.1: Availability of Civil Procedures
  • 24.2.2 Article 2.2: Damages
  • 28.1 Article 2.3 Other Remedies


47 Page 47

  • 47.1 Section 4: Special Requirements Related to Right Management Technology and the Internet

Download the ACTA draft Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement from Wikileaks.




States v the 'Net? 

Read The Closing of the Net, by me, Monica Horten.

"original and valuable"  Times higher Education

" essential read for anyone interested in understanding the forces at play behind the web."

Find out more about the book here  The Closing of the Net


FROM £15.99

Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a published author & Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet Freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and related issues on Brexit). Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

Contact  me to use  iptegrity content for commercial purposes

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review