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ACTA vote in European Parliament

05 July 2012
by BEUC -- last modified 05 July 2012

Following today’s rejection of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in a vote by Members of the European Parliament (478 against, 39 in favour, 165 abstentions), Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) Monique Goyens commented:


"Analysis of ACTA reveals its incompatibility with consumers' fundamental rights and freedoms, most significantly that of due process. ACTA's proposal to have Internet Service Providers (ISPs) enforce copyright online has rightly proven a step too far for MEPs. That would require a major and unhealthy shift in how the internet works. It would establish a de facto and evidently unwilling 'internet police'.

"BEUC cannot see the sense or correctness in ACTA's design to disclose internet users' personal data without judicial order. This would re-open the door to a Hadopi style law - which has already proven futile.

"Regrettably, the European Commission has focused its energy exclusively on longer and tougher copyright rules. The result has been a hardening of European public opinion towards copyright. If this erosion of public support is to be reversed, the EU must update its antique laws with consumers' rights and practical problems much more to the fore.

"Studies clearly show that if you build it legally, consumers will come. It's a lack of legal choice which prompts copyright infringements. Issues such as restrictions on the use of paid-for digital content and licensing restrictions which prevent access in many countries to legal services such as Spotify are of greater relevance.

"ACTA was drafted to allow itself to be revised without consulting the European Parliament. Such a power grab has thankfully been repelled."

BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation has a membership of 42 well respected, independent national consumer organisations from 31 European countries (EU, EEA and applicant countries). BEUC acts as the umbrella group in Brussels for these organisations and its main task is to represent our members and defend the interests of all Europe's consumers.

BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation