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Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA): Europe’s e-communications providers call on the European Commission to reflect EP demand for ACTA not to modify the EU acquis

Date

26 Nov 2010

Sections

InfoSociety

BRUSSELS – Europe’s leading e-communications service providers welcome the efforts of both the European Parliament and the Commission to address concerns regarding the potentially negative impact of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement on the EU citizens’ rights and on the existing balance between IPR enforcement and user’s privacy.

Europe’s e-communications providers support the European Parliament call in a resolution voted on 24 November that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement should not change the EU acquis in terms of IPR enforcement. The European Parliament reiterates that the implementation of ACTA provisions should not mandate the introduction by any of the signatories of a so-called three-strike approach or similar regime.

The grouping also notes the European Parliament call on the Commission for any change to the agreement in the future, through the so-called ACTA committee, to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council as well to ensure that any modification to the agreement remains within the scope of the EU acquis.

Concerns remain regarding the introduction of criminal sanctions for IPR infringements which go beyond the current EU legislation, say e-communications providers in Europe. Industry shares similar concerns about the provision within ACTA on cooperative agreements within the business community as a means of addressing copyright infringement. Such text could lead to the introduction of extra-judicial cooperation,
thereby also contradicting current EU law.

E-communications providers call on the European Parliament and Commission to work closely in order to reach a conclusive agreement on ACTA which would adequately address IPR infringement while at the same time guaranteeing Europe’s high standards of citizens’ rights and privacy.

The European trade associations contributing to this joint statement are:

Cable Europe (www.cable-europe.eu), the European Cable
Communications Association, is based in Brussels and groups all the
leading European cable TV operators and their national trade
associations throughout Europe. The aim of Cable Europe is to promote
and defend the industry’s policies and business interests at European and
international level. The European cable TV industry provides digital TV,
broadband Internet and telephony services to more than 73 million
customers. Contact: Caroline Van Weede, Managing Director
(+3225211763/ caroline.vanweede@cable-europe.eu).

ETNO (the European Telecommunications Network Operators'
Association - www.etno.eu) is the voice of the European
telecommunications network operators with over a decade of experience
in shaping EU telecoms policy. The association represents 41 companies
located in 35 European countries. They account for an aggregate annual
turnover of more than 250 billion Euros and employ over one million
people across Europe. Contact: Thierry Dieu, Communications Manager
(+ 3222193242/ dieu@etno.be).

EuroISPA is the world’s largest association of Internet Services Providers
(ISPs) representing the interests of more than 1700 ISPs across the EU
and the EFTA countries. EuroISPA is a major voice of the Internet
industry on information society subjects such as cybercrime, data
protection, e-commerce regulation, EU telecommunications law and safe
use of the Internet (www.euroispa.org). Contact: Andrea D’Incecco, Head
of Policy (+32 2 503.22.65/ andrea@euroispa.org).

The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile
communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites
nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators, as well as more than 200
companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers,
software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and
media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is focused on
innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership,
all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications
industry. In the European Union the GSMA represents over 100 operators
providing more than 600 million subscriber connections across the region.
For more information on GSMA, please visit: Mobile World Live, the new
online portal for the mobile communications industry, at
www.mobileworldlive.com, GSMA corporate website at
www.gsmworld.com, GSMA Europe www.gsmeurope.org.
Contact: Martin Whitehead, Director, GSMA Europe (+32 2 792 05 50/
MWhitehead@gsm.org.

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