Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA): Europe’s e-communications providers call on EU to ensure that international agreement respects key users’ rights enshrined in EU law

Date

25 Jan 2010

Sections

InfoSociety

BRUSSELS – ETNO wishes to raise concern about the lack of transparency in the negotiating process, on the eve of a planned negotiation meeting of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Mexico on 26 January, and calls for a proper consultation of all stakeholders involved. 

“ETNO is concerned that disproportionate and wide-ranging measures such as filtering or the possibility of disconnecting internet users could be introduced through the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement currently negotiated by the EU and the US among others. Such a move would fully contradict users’ rights as currently enshrined in EU law and reinforced by the recently adopted EU Telecoms Package”, says Michael Bartholomew, ETNO Director. 

The need to foster the single market for digital content and to facilitate the development of legitimate online content offers is recognised as a key priority for the next Commission. 

In ETNO’s view, the wide availability of legitimate content offerings is the best instrument to fight against copyright infringements and to promote European and independent works. Despite remaining barriers -- such as fragmented licensing systems, non-harmonised regulation as to consumer protection and VAT-systems -- new offerings are being increasingly developed and embraced by users. 

ETNO is concerned that the ACTA framework does not distinguish between different counterfeiting and online copyright infringements and therefore fails to deal with related challenges in the most appropriate way. The existing EU legal framework, through the E-Commerce and IPR Enforcement Directives, already allows for legal action against copyright infringement. 

ETNO urges the Commission not to negotiate a treaty that would go beyond the delicate balance of interests between rightsholders and user rights reached in EU legislation. 

The ACTA negotiations, bypassing the EU democratic process, must not introduce in Europe measures both disproportionate and not in line with EU users’ rights. 

For more information on the ETNO position on ACTA please consult:

http://www.etno.be/Default.aspx?tabid=2209

For more information, please contact: Thierry Dieu, ETNO Communications Manager Tel:    (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax:  (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail: dieu@etno.be

ETNO’s 41 member companies from 35 European countries represent a significant part of total ICT activity in Europe. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than ?250 billion and employ over one million people across Europe. ETNO companies are the main drivers of broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe.