At the end of January 2011,Romania, with 15 of its MEPs, signed „Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” (abbreviated ACTA). Our country is thus joining a group of countries in the world who are interested to fight the economic crisis by means of compliance with creative originality. The document of this agreement was sent to the European Parliament for ratification by the European Commission. Ratification, which would result in the EP plenary vote, was not yet achieved, and is in doubt until June-July 2012. We must say that it is not clear who sent the draft of this agreement to the European Commission, although the recent Wikileaks telegrams show that ACTA ideas have their origin in an US-Japanese agreement from 2006.
Currently, ACTA turn out to be in many ways, an agreement generating much discord. Many governors, legislators, professionals in IT and law, associations of Internet providers, NGOs and tens of thousands of young people, impelled by the mysterious group Anonymous, worldwide protest against ACTA, as we can see an attempt to introduce a control mechanism of Internet traffic data. In turn, internet service providers are being assigned monitoring tasks and increased supervisory powers and some will ask, rightly, unless they begin to lose the customers, inconvenienced by the intrusion of authorities into private business in the digital environment.
But this agreement as it stands, totaling 45 articles, covers only part of traffic in the digital environment (see Section V, Article 27). For the most part, the text, written in a language not very clear from end to end, refers to different products, brands, intellectual property rights, carriers, customs authorities, regulators and, indirectly to consumers. Some say it refers to „the rich countries trying to impose some stringent rules to emerging countries”.
In this first analysis, we identify in the text of the agreement, those ideas concerning the carriers directly. A detailed analysis will follow in the April issue of the Movement Journal.
This agreement takes from the TRIPS Agreement (Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of intellectual property rights) some protectionist key concepts and tries to improve their applicability in the signatory countries by more coercive measures.
While theU.S.consider ACTA an „executive agreement”, not a treaty (which must be approved by two thirds of the Senate members), ACTA aims to be an act of legal value in the EU and emerging countries.
Proliferation of counterfeit and pirated goods is understood in ACTA document as a subversion of legitimate trade, sustainable development of world economy and as a source of organized crime.
Trafficking in counterfeit goods, including their packaging, and the pirated ones may be suspended by customs authorities, based on calls for suspension of any of the parties.
Destruction of these goods is delegated to competent authorities that can send to interested parties information about specific items, description and quantity of goods, name and address of the consignor, importer, exporter or consignee.
ACTA penalties range from high fines, to imprisonment.
Review group of ARTRI