ACTA Lives: How the EU & Canada Are Using CETA as Backdoor Mechanism To Revive ACTA by Michael Geist
Posted in: Government & Policy at 11/07/2012 16:25
Last week, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to reject ACTA, striking a major blow to the hopes of supporters who envisioned a landmark agreement that would set a new standard for intellectual property rights enforcement. The European Commission, which negotiates trade deals such as ACTA on behalf of the European Union, has vowed to revive the badly damaged agreement. Its most high-profile move has been to ask the European Court of Justice to rule on ACTA's compatibility with fundamental European freedoms with the hope that a favourable ruling could allow the European Parliament to reconsider the issue.
While the court referral has attracted the lion share of attention, my weekly technology law column reports that there is an alternate secret strategy in which Canada plays a key role. According to recently leaked documents, the EU plans to use the Canada - EU Trade Agreement (CETA), which is nearing its final stages of negotiation, as a backdoor mechanism to implement the ACTA provisions.
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The Inclusion of ACTA Within CETA: Why The Concern Is Warranted by Michael Geist
My post yesterday on how the EU plans to use the Canada - EU Trade Agreement (CETA) as a backdoor mechanism to implement the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) provisions has attracted considerable attention with coverage from European media and activists. The European Commission refused to comment, stating that it does not comment on leaks.
Some have noted that since the leaked CETA IP chapter dates from February 2012, the concern is premature since the current EC position may change in light of the recent European Parliament vote to reject ACTA. According to this view, "it's more than likely that the European Parliament will kill CETA just as (and because of) ACTA was killed last week."