The recommendation to the European Parliament will be to reject ACTA. The rapporteur, David Martin, has today made an official announcment to that effect. The announcement moves ACTA fate one step closer to its coffin, but it would be foolish to think that its fate is finally sealed.
Mr Martin made the announcement at the conclusion of a conference organised by his party group – the Socialist group – today. In a press release issued after the conference, David Martin said:
Today's conference has confirmed my suspicion that ACTA raises more fears than hopes. What it delivers in terms of important intellectual property rights is diminished by potential threats to civil liberties and internet freedom. When the European Parliament rejects ACTA, the Commission must work to find other ways to defend European intellectual property in the global marketplace'
If the European Parliament does reject ACTA - still an if at this stage - then it will effectively kill ACTA, certainly as far as Europe is concerned. David Martin's announcement had the support of the president of the Socialist group in the European Parliament, Hannes Swoboda.
Mr Swoboda said that he will recommend that all group members should vote to reject ACTA, when the vote eventually comes to the plenary session.
However, there are a few more steps along the way. Mr Martin has yet to present his report, which will contain the recommendation. He is due to reveal it at a committee meeting in two week’s time.
As rapporteur, Mr Martin may not present his personal views, but must be sure to reflect the views of the whole Parliament. This may mean that he has to do some wheeling and dealing.
There are a number of Opinions being prepared which will input to Mr Martin’s report. We don’t know yet how those in the Parliament who oppose ACTA will react. Once all of the views are compiled into Mr Martin's report, it will be voted by the committee and then by the plenary. So you can see, there are a few more hurdles.
David Martin is a British Labour MEP, and a canny Scot. It will be interesting to see whether Mr Martin gets any visits from his home government, which, via the regulator (the industry-cuddly Ofcom) is trying to push forward the very measures that ACTA could support.
And as I have said in my other article today, killing ACTA does not mean the end of Internet copyright enforcement measures being imposed by the back-door. There are other back-doors which will be used, such as the G8.America ups the ante on ACTA – via the G8
You may re-publish my article under a Creative Commons licence, but you should cite my name and provide a link back to iptegrity.com. Media and Academics – please cite as Monica Horten, It’s official: European Parliament told ‘Say no to ACTA’, www.iptegrity.com 12 April 2012 . Commercial users - please contact me