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The Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement or ACTA was negotiated between 2008-2010. It was put to the European Parliament in 2012, and was rejected. But what was it? And why was it so controversial?

It was an attempt to create a trade agreement around a specific issue area of intellectual property rights. It was led by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the EU and Japan. One of the key aims of its proponents was to establish in international trade law, a set of measures to address copyright enforcement online. To that extent it incorporated a chapter on enforcement of intellectual property rights on the Internet, including copyright and trade marks. This chapter is what grabbed the attention of lawyers, academics and activists around the world. There were two main areas of conflict. One of them was copyright enforcement, which at that time entailed the so-called "3-strikes" measures ( see my section on France) and which is covered extensively here in my posts on ACTA. The other issue was access to medicine ( which I do not cover).

If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in ACTA and copyright enforcement policy, you may like my book A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms which discusses ACTA in detail. You may also like The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the 'Telecoms Package'

And you may like my book The Closing of the Net which discusses the issue of secondary liability in the context of the UK copyright blocking judgments and the Megaupload case in New Zealand.

In just five dramatic minutes, the European Parliament has killed off ACTA, the so-called Anti- counterfeiting trade agreement. In a resounding vote in the last half hour, the entire Parliament voted by 478 votes to 39 to decline its consent to ACTA. This means that the ACTA may not be ratified in Europe, and effectively means it is dead in the water. The rapporteur, David Martin, spoke of

Read more: Wow what a scorcher! ACTA slaughtered 478 to 39

The tension mounts as the European Parliament prepares for the plenary vote on ACTA (Anti- counterfeiting trade agreement). It could be as dramatic as the Telecoms Package in 2009.

Today's ACTA debate in the European Parliament plenary session revealed a tense atmosphere as MEPs set out their final positions before tomorrow's vote. Whilst the Socialists were confident, and backed the rapporteur, it was the Greens who took on the EPP hardcore, who in turn came out with a desparate last bid to stall the vote. The big question is whether

Read more: ACTA: will the European Parliament cave in or stand up?

Fearful rights-holders switch to an 'economic stimulus' message, pulling on the emotional heartstrings of Europe's flailing economies. But have they got their facts right?

Just days before the European Parliament votes on ACTA (Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement), a rights-holder PR briefing to MEPs claims that ACTA will generate an economic stimulus of €50 billion, plus 960,000 new jobs. But it does not take a very sophisticated understanding of research methodology to see that this is a figure rooted in sand.

Read more: ACTA facts and rights-holder chicanery


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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor: online safety, technology and human rights. In April 2024, I was appointed as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on online safety and empowerment of content creators and users. I am a published author, and post-doctoral scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Westminster, and a DipM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I cover the UK and EU. I'm a former tech journalist, and an experienced panelist and Chair. My media credits include the BBC, iNews, Times, Guardian and Politico.

Iptegrity.com is made available free of charge for non-commercial use. Please link back and attribute Dr Monica Horten.  Contact me to use any of my content for commercial purposes.  

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review