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ACTA

This section addresses the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) from a European Union perspective and  the policy implications for the EU that may be entailed in the ACTA. 

The ACTA   has been the subject of secret negotiations since 2008 and incorporates  a chapter on enforcement of intellectual property rights  on the Internet, including copyright and trade marks.  

If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in ACTA and copyright enforcement policy, you may like my book A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms  which discusses ACTA in detail. You may also like   The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’


 And you may like my book The Closing of the Net which discusses the issue of secondary liability in the context of the UK copyright blocking judgments and the Megaupload case in New Zealand.

 The opening  shots are being fired in the European Parliament in what could be a bloody but exciting political battle over copyright enforcement on the Internet and ACTA. The first casualty has already been claimed, as the rapporteur, Kader Arif,  threw in the towel under pressure from what he termed the ‘right of the Parliament’. His replacement wants to put the matter to ECJ. Their party group, the Socialists, has issued  out a  statement opposing ACTA. The political re-positioning, combined with the citizens actions this week-end, has put the wind up the rights-holders, who  are mounting a charm- offensive.

Read more: ACTA – let the battle begin

 ACTA protest Lille, France. Photo from @MaherTekaya via Twitter

ACTA protest Lille, France. Photo from @MaherTekaya via Twitter.

On a bitterly cold and snowy day, reported to be one of the coldest ever in Europe,  with temperatures below freezing point, people have taken to the streets to protest  against ACTA (Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement). This is  the secretly negotiated copyright treaty, which will impose a new framework of sanctions and penalties against websites and Internet users for the purpose of copyright and IP enforcement.  The message coming across loud and clear to European Union policy-makers is "No to ACTA" . It is being shouted in many languages, as the demonstrations range from Sofia to Talinn to Berlin to Amsterdam to Paris and London. The irony is that on Valentine's week-end, the protests are -  apparently  - organised by a group called 'Anonymous'.

Read more: Valentine's week-end ACTA marches: thousands protest

 British Conservative MEP,  Syed Kamall,  is asking the European Commission to confirm or deny in writing the existence of a footnote in ACTA, that would have mandated 3-strikes measures to disconnect users from the Internet. It looks like a banal incident in the ongoing knock-about between the European Commission and the Parliament over ACTA (Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement). But the question  highlights the ridiculousness of the Commission trying to hide the real intent of ACTA, and in doing so, being caught in its own trap.

Read more: MEP dares Commission to tell the truth

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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

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Iptegrity.com 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

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The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review