By way of reminder: so far 22 EU member states have signed up to ACTA, but several others, especially in Eastern Europe and as well as Germany, have decided against doing so.
Today the EU Parliament received a petition signed by more than 2.4 million Internet users against ACTA. This did not come unexpectedly as the EU Parliament already announced on its website, yesterday that
"The EP's [European Parliament's] petitions committee will look at the petition before deciding what action to take."The chair of the EP's petitions committee, Erminia Mazzoniis, was quoted as follows:
"The ratification procedure of ACTA in the European Parliament has only just started. It will need to be examined carefully, taking into consideration all concerns, through a reasoned assessment of the facts and trying to combine the freedom of the Internet on the one hand and the fight against counterfeiting on the other. The follow-up of the petition will be decided in the coming weeks by the members of the committee on petitions."....and indeed, the petition was delivered today and news site Euronews cites David Martin, a Scottish S&D member, who has recently been named the EP's ACTA rapporteur after his predecessor controversially resigned, as follows:
“I think ACTA, or something like ACTA, is necessary to defend our copyright holders and intellectual property holders but not at the price of criminalising ordinary citizens for simply downloading music or films or whatever from the internet. So I do not want any infringement on their civil liberties to do such things...”The website The Parliament further quotes Mr Martin as having said that a "lack of transparency" during the drafting stages had "undermined" public confidence in the agreement:
"I want to analyse, consult and have a debate on the [ACTA] agreement and have not yet come to a conclusion on it."Interesting times ahead....