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ACTA Referred To Europe's Top Court For Analysis 61

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the maybe-the-sky-isn't-falling dept.
superglaze writes "The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is to get an extra level of scrutiny in the EU after the European Commission said it would refer ACTA to the European Court of Justice, to check that it really does comply with fundamental freedoms in the union. This obviously follows mass protests over ACTA, and it seems justice commissioner Viviane Reding was the one who pushed for ECJ scrutiny. It's not currently clear if this will delay the European Parliament ratification process, but it is hard to imagine the parliament voting on ACTA (scheduled for June at the moment) before the ECJ has had its say — and no-one can say right now how long that will take to happen."
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ACTA Referred To Europe's Top Court For Analysis

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  • Kill it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:40AM (#39124427)
    with fire. This thing needs to be buried and forgotten so we can be just as outraged at "ACTA 2.0; Now with a name to make you look like a pedo if you vote against it!"
    • Re:Kill it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Spottywot (1910658) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:44AM (#39124477)
      Fair point, but if it is stopped on a legal basis then surely whatever you call ACTA 2.0 it would have to differ in its content. If you simply rename it it could be stopped again under the same legal basis.
      • Re:Kill it (Score:5, Informative)

        by SharpFang (651121) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:56AM (#39124627) Homepage Journal

        All you need to do is to smuggle it under the radar. ACTA has been in the works for years now. Only the recent SOPA protests have drawn eyes of crowds to it, and only that encouraged politicians to scrutinize the act for conflicts with existing bills of rights.

        Polish division of EFF got the government's declaration a YEAR ago that no step will be done towards accepting ACTA without getting it through a precise scrutinity. Then they outright broke the promise.

        • Out of genuine interest, [citation needed]. I only know about VaGla's and Panopticon Foundation's scrutiny of ACTA. And yeah, our red-haired prime liar^Wminister is certainly bought by lobbyists.
          • by SharpFang (651121)

            "Citation" is the polish TV debate between representatives of the government and of Internet culture organizations, the earlier of two I know of (I don't think there were any more), not the famous, later one where one of the guys came in sandal shoes, and a girl was knitting a sweater... (a circus of disrespect in reply for disrespect the government has shown the participants by announcing the monday debate late friday afternoon, and sending out invitation emails with horrible grammar errors in it).

            I'm not

        • Re:Kill it (Score:4, Interesting)

          by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @02:01PM (#39127323) Homepage Journal

          I find it interesting that even though the article (yes, I READ them!) says that ACTA is being sent to the courts for analysis and judgement, the writer of the article is already stating their position as if it were court-determined fact:

          ACTA will not censor websites or shut them down; ACTA will not hinder freedom of the internet or freedom of speech.

          Such concerns are precisely why ACTA is being submitted to the courts for review. With this comment posted in the article as if it were fact, it would seem to me that the author is hoping this is nothing more than a checklist review item for getting it passed. And I don't think it's fair to the public OR the courts to be making that recommendation or decision before the courts have done their due diligence.

          It would be as bad as Harper claiming that the Senate review of our (illegal!) Canadian ACTA legislation is "fine, but we need to dot our I's and cross our T's. The Canadian version includes DMCA-like clauses that violate a 50+ year history of Canadians being allowed to make back-ups of the media they own, and to format-shift it as well. Preventing people from using the tools needed to make those backups would be illegal, and our government has been notoriously silent about that issue here in Canada.

          They flat out don't want to talk about it. They wish a concerned public would just shut up and let the jackboots come down on their neck without question like good little sheeple.

          Thank God Canadians seem more interested in flagging the issues with all levels of government and media than our government is in hearing what the public has to say!

          • by SharpFang (651121)

            Maybe it was in tone of "The burgoise will not oppress the working class. The elites will not stop the march towards freedom of the working man."?

      • Re:Kill it (Score:4, Insightful)

        by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @11:01AM (#39124695)
        I'm fairly certain that a team of lawyers could come up with some new terms for those which breached EU law which were ambiguous enough to not cause the same problems getting it through the ECJ, but have the same effect for the general public. "Lesser of Two Evils" is a political system for the US; I'm confident they can shoehorn enough weasel-words in.

        Then they'll rename it the Protecting Efforts to Distribute Offerings to Stabilised Current eUroprean Markets Act.
        • by jez9999 (618189)

          Then they'll rename it the Protecting Efforts to Distribute Offerings to Stabilised Current eUroprean Markets Act.

          The pedos' cum act? That's not a great name.

          • Maybe you'd enjoy the following websites:

            http://www.powergenitalia.com
            http://www.therapistfinder.com
            http://www.penisland.com
      • by Joce640k (829181)

        The European Parliament had quite a few misgivings [europa.eu] about ACTA last year.

        I don't see how this addresses any of those concerns.

      • by trevelyon (892253)
        The only way to stop this sort of thing is to punish the politicians that continue to foist this upon us. A clear statement "Vote for or support this kind of legislation and you will not be re-elected" is what is needed. Only then will the continual stream of rights erosion stop. The vested players have considerable resources so they will keep trying. It's only when the cost of taking their money is too great that they will stop or so I hope. I hope the Europeans are taking note of the people that broug
    • so we can be just as outraged at "ACTA 2.0; Now with a name to make you look like a pedo if you vote against it!"

      I doubt Europe has much to worry about there, but here in the U.S., I damn sure know we do. The next SOPA/ACTA/PIPA bill here in the states is going to be called the "Stop Child Pornography and Terrorism Act" or something, just wait and see.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      First the Europeans will be outraged at IPRED 2.0 and INDECT

      We are/will be too busy getting mad at other crazy laws like C11, C30 (PCIPA), PrECISE, PCIP (HR 1981), Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), RWA, etc. etc.

      It's like "they" are using a Gatling gun, shooting crazy laws, hoping one round will pierce the armor of common sense.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by forkfail (228161)

      You're being sarcastic, but you're actually right on the mark.

      This one gets beat, another one will surface.

      The politicians and the people who buy them never tire - it's their job and the foundation of their wealth and power to keep pushing.

      For the rest of us, for the population at large, we've got daily jobs, we've got kids and all of that. So, yeah, it can be difficult to keep pushing back.

      And it's made worse by the fact that we've allowed ourselves to all too often automatically reject activists as some

      • And it's made worse by the fact that we've allowed ourselves to all too often automatically reject activists as some sort of fringe; those who would lead the fight on our behalf are all too often not supported. We listen to the media tear them down; we fight against our own self interests.

        This.

        You know all the "stupid commie anarchist trustafarians with iPhones" stereotyping of the Occupiers that we saw here on Slashdot? Those stereotypes were present in the MSM, too, of course, but you kind of expect it from CNN and the NYT. But for a bunch of people who are, as a group, generally strongly opposed to corporate power grabs to turn against another large group of people who were on their side was disheartening, to say the least. And that's why Occupy made a bunch of noise and then faded aw

      • Re:Kill it (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Wattos (2268108) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @02:55PM (#39128121)

        This is a very unfair fight for us. The big coorps only need to get lucky once, while we have to keep our guard up all the time.

        To me it seems that it is only a matter of time until such a law passes, unless we change the way how copyright is handled.

    • Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...
    • by Skal Tura (595728)

      [censored] is for the [censored] of all [censored]. [Censored] for the [censored] [censored] of the [censored].
      So [censored] should act now, with [censored] [censored] and [censored] [censored].
      Unless, [censored] wish to [censored] the [censored].

  • Dear *IAAs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:43AM (#39124471)
    The people of the world have spoken. Your business model is flawed and obsolete. If you *truly* believe in capitalism half as much as you claim, you will accept that it is you who must adapt or die.
    • Re:Dear *IAAs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @11:43AM (#39125173) Homepage

      When Napster was all the rage, just about everyone in IT including the younger generation started sharing MP3s all over the world. On one hand, free music. Yeh! On the other, it was piracy and I really did feel bad for the industry. It wasn't hard to see how unsustainable wonton piracy would be. *IAAs have no choice but to adapt. The problem is that rather than take a rational approach with improved marketing and distribution, they decided to turn into one the largest litigation firms ever to sweep across America. That group was hellbent on screwing teenagers and their families financially while screwing the artists at the same time. A form of paper terrorism by making a nasty example out of a select few.

      As for me? I'm pretty rational about the whole thing. I'll purchase music online, collect used late 90s or earlier CDs, or hit up Pandora. But I don't pirate music. It's a scummy thing IMHO.

      • I will never buy music again. You have shown yourselves unworthy of my money. There is already enough music, and enough people willing to make new music for their own pleasure and that of their audience, and to sell it through their own online channels. We have our own delivery mechanism and payment mechanism thank you. We don't need a music industry any more.
      • by Burning1 (204959)

        When Napster was all the rage, just about everyone in IT including the younger generation started sharing MP3s all over the world. On one hand, free music. Yeh! On the other, it was piracy and I really did feel bad for the industry.

        Around the time Napster started becoming popular, I started dropping $200+/wk on CDs. Napster introduced me to a lot of good music, and I bought a lot of CDs as a result. I didn't shed a damn tear for the recording industry at that time.

        Unsurprisingly, napster was murdered to dea

      • I'm pretty rational about the whole thing.

        That's what just about everyone seems to say...

    • by jez9999 (618189)

      What's the point in only starring the first letter of the acronym? MPAA has two different letters.

  • Could this be it for ACTA? Or is this just intended to defuse protests? Any EU slashdotters have any insight on this ? I could see it going either way.

    My personal feeling is that the Internet needs to be treated much like the NRA treats gun control - mess with it, and you are in political trouble.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Basically, it's mostly the European Commission getting rid of a hot potato. The debate is guaranteed to be VERY tense, so if ACTA can be disqualified on a purely legal basis, it will avoid some ugliness.

    • I feel that this could be it for ACTA in Europe for the time being, because this kind of thing is actually taken seriously in Europe.

      However I have a feeling that those of us in the US will have to worry about ACTA 2.0, 3.0, etc for quite a while.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As a european, my personal take on this is that the EU commission is simply looking for a way to stall without looking bad in the process. In the last week, it became clear that ACTA would not simply pass through the parliaments (both national in some member states and the EU parliament), and by referring the whole thing to the court they are gaining time to work behind the curtains to see if they can get it passed, or maybe simply to stall until the public outrage is over an no one is interested in it anym

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by K. S. Kyosuke (729550)

      Any EU slashdotters have any insight on this ?

      The prime insight on this that you need to know is that the European Commission is a bunch of mindless jerks who will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes. That's the basic cultural knowledge you need to have to correctly assess the relationships between government bodies and the people within the EU.

      • I don't think they're that bad really, the commissioners are fighting for their own country's benefit within the Union as well as doing their actual jobs. It's fair enough, it's how things work most places.

        The European Parliament is at least clearly on the citizen's side, even if they don't have the power to act on it yet.

        The Court of Justice is a very good check and balance, at least the system works.

      • by mbone (558574)

        The prime insight on this that you need to know is that the European Commission is a bunch of mindless jerks who will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

        It's not who is first against the wall. It's not even who is last against the wall. It's the bits in between I worry about.

        • by rvw (755107)

          The prime insight on this that you need to know is that the European Commission is a bunch of mindless jerks who will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

          It's not who is first against the wall. It's not even who is last against the wall. It's the bits in between I worry about.

          Another bit in the wall.... Wasn't that a number 1 hit in many countries?

      • by digitig (1056110)

        Any EU slashdotters have any insight on this ?

        The prime insight on this that you need to know is that the European Commission is a bunch of mindless jerks who appear to have done the right thing in this case. That's the basic cultural knowledge you need to have to correctly assess the relationships between government bodies and the people within the EU.

        FTFY.

    • If it doesn't comply with existing IEEE basic freedom protections, the ECJ will shoot it down. They have never been afraid to go against the comission, the parliament or a member state before.

      Now, why is the comission referring it to the ECJ? They may be stalling in order get people to calm down, as other commenters suggested, although that would be a very risky maneuver. If you ask me, they're folding and trying to save face, by being the ones stopping it instead of having the EP kill it in a very public m

  • what is the EU? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The overriding purpose of the EU is to promote corporatism by pushing for "competition" with just enough regulation that only the big boys get a real say.

    While today people think of the EU as some left wing socialist pinko monster, it was founded very much as a businessman's government neutering and takeover effort - the EEC - and the majority of philosophy and law are about promoting business, not promoting individual freedoms. As a result, EU law tends to be that which has been lobbied for by friendly bus

  • by mseeger (40923) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @11:01AM (#39124687)

    This is just a move to get ACTA out of the public eye. The time should be used for further actions...

    • by ahotiK (2426590)
      That is what I'm afraid of too. That they just want that people will forget about ACTA or other laws like it and give us the illusion that we won, but instead again, secretly working on applying it. I really hope this is only a conspiracy theory, but you never know.
    • by forkfail (228161)

      I think that you are correct. The Ownership Society type folks never stop pushing. Sometimes they wind up playing a three card monte, but they never stop.

      In a true democratic west, there's be an opposition that introduced true net neutrality and freedom type legislation in response to this. But it seems that the west sold democracy to the highest corporate bidder some years ago. We're only really noticing now.

  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @11:01AM (#39124691)

    ...not least because of the implications of it.

    Forget actual copyright infringement claims for a moment, please, this isn't what it's about (ACTA or this rant).

    It's about Government intervention in content. Suffocation of the relation of ideas from brain A to brain B-Z and beyond, because someone doesn't like the idea that their vision of a society they have total control over is still somehow so far off, that they have to strangle freedom of expression any way they think they can get away with.

    Well, fuck you, I'll say what I like, because MY freedom to express myself in forums available to me trumps your claim of entitlement to my hard-earned whether or not I choose to buy the shite you peddle and try to pass off as art, and it certainly trumps your deluded perceptions of entitlement to freedom from being offended or your plans for total control of every minor aspect of my life being undermined. I will resist you because I am a Human Being with a Soul, with a sense of self responsibility and self governance; I do not need or want your unnecessary intrusion into my life, and ACTA represents something I DO NOT WANT NOR WILL I CONSENT TO.

    Sincerely,

    A CONTENT CREATOR.

    • I tried to read ACTA to have a clue what I was actually talking about. About half-way through, I decided it was a dull letter of intend to actually agree on taking minor, reasonable steps towards enforcing already-existing legislation. ACTA is littered with notes about how none of this should be allowed to affect law-abiding citizens.

      Could one of you ACTA-opposers quote just a few of the paragraphs you find so horribly offensive? Trying to read it with an open mind gave me the clear impression that the o
      • from various sources (including EFF and the UK Government website):

        ACTA has several features that raise significant potential concerns for consumers’ privacy and civil liberties for innovation and the free flow of information on the Internet legitimate commerce and for developing countries’ ability to choose policy options that best suit their domestic priorities and level of economic development.

        ACTA is being negotiated by a select group of industrialized countries outside of existing internati

  • misdirection (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @11:56AM (#39125383) Homepage Journal

    This move by the commission is not to get a critical review. The commission is the undemocratic EU-level force pushing ACTA forward. The (elected) parliament is the one that would rather not have ACTA and one of the few entities that put massive pressure on the secret negotiations and has repeatedly voiced its disgust with the secrecy of it all.

    This move by the commission is an attempt to put pressure on the EU parliament. If the court says that ACTA does not conflict with EU laws, then the parliament will have a harder time to justify voting against ACTA.

    By getting the court's opinion now, the commission is disarming the EU parliament, taking away one of their reasons to refuse.

    • by Krneki (1192201)
      I hope the whole things come to a critical situations where we have to rethink about the copyright issue. I'd love to see the whole ACTA thing explode in their faces.
    • I guess I don't know much about the EU parliament but isn't, "the people who elected me are against this" a sufficent reason to vote against it? What's the point in having elected officials if they can't represent the people that elected them?

      • by Tom (822)

        It's not that easy. While there has been widespread protest, it's not like there were millions upon millions of people on the streets.

        Germany has 99 members in the EU parliament. Germany has ~80 mio. people. That means every one of them represents almost a million people. At that size, stuff like "the opinion of the people who I represent" doesn't have much meaning.

        Nevertheless, as far as politicians go, those in the EU parliament are largely the good guys. I still wouldn't buy a used car from them, but com

  • 'Kabuki Dance' in EU-ese?

    Until the hide-bound, freedom hating troglodytes that run the MAFIAA are sprawled out atop their massive desks with wooden stakes driven through their tiny black hearts, they will never give up, but merely regroup out of sight, like the filthy cockroaches they mimic.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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