False arguments by European Commission in defence of ACTA

1. Myth: “ACTA is about large-scale and organized infringements of intellectual property”

Reality: The criminal sanctions proposed in ACTA could apply to not-for-profit infringements of copyright.  ACTA´s article 23.1defines “commercial scale” violation of IPR as any “direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage”.  This term is very unclear and, therefore,  greatly disproportionate penalties could easily be applied to repetitive, non-commercial file sharing.

2. Myth “ACTA contains safeguards for fundamental rights and will not lead to extra-judicial censoring, filtering or blocking.”

Reality:  ACTA strongly promotes the extra-judicial “cooperation” of Internet Server Providers (art- 27.3) with the entertainment industry  and if that does not occur threatens to apply criminal measures for “aiding and abetting” (art. 23.4). Internet servers will therefore be forced to deploy extra-judicial filtering of communications and deletion of content on-line. Privacy, data protection and freedom of expression could all be endangered without the involvement of due-process guarantees and under the guise of “self-regulation”

3. Myth “ACTA does not change EU law”.

Reality: The European Parliament study and other independent studies on ACTA all conclude that ACTA does change EU law.

ACTA promotes extremely high “damages” to be calculated according to “market or retail value”. According to all studies published on ACTA this clearly contradicts  present EU IPR law.

It introduces new criminal measures that must be applied by EU member states when no harmonization of criminal measures exists in EU law.
ACTA will be used as an international “golden rule” to push upon the European Parliament and member states a new framework for EU criminal sanctions, IPRED.

4. Myth: “ACTA protects EU jobs”

Reality: No serious empirical evidence has been presented to back up this assertion; only  industry financed studies about “lost revenue”.  The opposite is the case: Many times more jobs are created in technological industries and SMEs that enjoy flexible IPR frameworks than jobs in traditional content management industries. ACTA could easily “chill innovation” of up-start, new innovative firms and venture capitalists by the threat of high penalties and criminal sanctions.  ACTA “has no advantages for EU citizens” according to the official EP study and only favors some big businesses anchored in old business models.  Many academic studies point to the “red-line” across which overly strict IPR enforcement prevents more new jobs and innovation than it protects.

5. Myth: “ACTA protects health and safety”

Safety and health concerns are not at all a priority in ACTA.  ACTA could even weaken the credibility of the fight against dangerous counterfeiting and fraud by ambiguously confusing large scale organized crime with not-for-profit file-sharing and flexible models of access to knowledge. China, Russia and other countries accused of large scale violation of IPR are not parties of ACTA.

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