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Friday, 12 March 2010

European Parliament demands to be informed on ACTA negotiations

Yet another installment in the ongoing saga of and secrecy surrounding the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) negotiations (see the IPKat's ACTA posts here).

The European Parliament has now published a press release in which it demands that the Commission and the Council should grant public and parliamentary access to the negotiation texts. A resolution adopted on Wednesday 10 March 2010 asks that MEPs "be fully informed in good time about their initiatives", otherwise the European Parliament "reserves its right to take suitable action, including bringing a case before the Court of Justice in order to safeguard its prerogatives". ["Hear, hear!" comments Merpel. "Indeed, these are rather strong words" muses this Kat.]
The press release further states that "MEPs want to ensure that the agreement does not make it possible for any ‘three-strikes’ procedures to be imposed". The European Parliament also demands "full clarification of any clauses that would allow for warrantless searches and confiscation of information storage devices such as laptops, cell phones and MP3 players by border and customs authorities".

To access the European Parliament's press release of 10 March 2010, please click here (available in more EU languages than one could hope for).

The IPKat wonders about all this ACTA secrecy, a cynic might think there was something to hide...?

On the same topic: OHIM has today published an announcement on its website referring to an "ACTA consultation meeting" which is organised by The Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission (DG) and which will be held in Brussels on 22 March 2010. The aim of this meeting is "to inform and consult interested parties about the negotiation of a plurilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)".

If you would like to attend, please follow this link to the DG's website to register (remember it is held in Brussels). If you cannot attend, then do not despair because we are told: "Those unable to participate in the meeting and/or wishing to present their positions in writing may send their comments to mailto:%20TRADE-ACTA-MEETING@ec.europa.eu, no later than 22 March 2010." Now, Merpel cannot help but wondering whether the EU parliament will send an e-mail....

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