The QMN Weekly Bulletin

Doomed International Anti-Counterfeiting Pact Represents a ‘Lost Opportunity’

Feb. 15, 2013

Following a resounding rejection of the intellectual property (IP) pact by EU members last year, the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) now appears dead as the European Commission has decided not to request a judicial review of the proposed treaty.

Planned as a comprehensive global framework to fight the infringement of IP rights, in particular counterfeiting and online piracy, ACTA was easy to oppose as it was initially negotiated in secret, Roger Bate, an economist and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said Thursday.

The pact was signed Oct. 1, 2011, by the U.S. and seven other non-EU countries. In early 2012, 22 EU member states signed on, triggering a vote in Parliament. That body in July rejected ACTA 478–39, with 165 abstentions, with critics citing threats to internet freedom.

ACTA also attracted the ire of some U.S. lawmakers, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who voiced concern the deal violated U.S. law. He and others also worried it would present a barrier to reforming the law in relation to damages for patents or access to orphaned copyrighted works.

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