EC ACTA Stakeholders meeting 3/22

The European Commission held an open meeting to discuss the ongoing ACTA negotiations on 22 March.

The meeting commenced with a presentation from the EC (given by the Head of
Intellectual Property and Public procurement in DG for Trade (Luc-Pierre
Devigne)). slides

Following this presentation, the EC opened the floor for questions and/or
comments. Video: wmv | ogv

Salient points as noted by ISOC representatives at the meeting:

•       ACTA only concerns enforcement of existing Intellectual Property

rights – It will not affect substantive Intellectual Property laws
•       None of the parties to the ACTA negotiations has proposed “three
strikes” or a “graduated response” – “It is a non-issue.”
•       Re ISP liability – existing European law provides for conditional
exemption of liability for ISPs – the EC will not go beyond existing
European law
•       The EC will not comment on “leaked documents”.
•       The negotiations in Mexico touched upon the first part of the
“Internet environment” but not the “technical protection measures” – these
will be discussed in the next round of negotiations.
•       The parties to the ACTA negotiations have not yet discussed
“institutional arrangements”. The EC intends to have a stakeholders’ meeting
when it knows more about this issue.
•       At the next round of negotiations, the EC will be asking for the
texts under discussion to be released.
•       The parties to the ACTA negotiations have not yet discussed
arrangements for amending the treaty (assuming there is a treaty) in
response to technological progress, changes in the law of parties to the
treaty, etc.

And specifically, vis-à-vis Europe and the European negotiating position:

•       The EC is hoping to export European law for the protection of
Intellectual Property rights to other countries for its own citizens’
benefit (and also for the benefit of citizens of other countries).
•       The EC’s guidelines for negotiating ACTA (issued by the Council of
the European Union) are to respect existing European law (the “acquis”) and
negotiate a position that is consistent with that law – no further.
Additionally, Europe has a lot of laws protecting fundamental human rights,
privacy and data protection which other countries do not have.
•       The EC indicated it would have liked to have conducted these
negotiations through the WTO, but some members (unnamed) will not permit
enforcement of Intellectual Property rights on the agenda.