MEPs vote 478 to 39 against controversial anti-piracy measure
ACTA has been rejected by the European Parliament in a vote today. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was soundly defeated, with 39 parliament members voting for the agreement, 478 against, and 165 abstentions. The move against the motion practically kills the agreement in its current form, with many critics suggesting it cannot be revived no matter how many amendments are made to it.
ACTA may be rejected outright if Euro advice taken
The US' attempts to push the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) were dealt a possible hit after new European Parliament rapporteur David Martin published (PDF) a recommendation that the representatives for European Union's member states reject the bill. Echoing the same sentiments that led his predecessor to quit in protest, he saw the "vagueness" of the bill as being overreaching. Whatever advantages it would have in clamping down on piracy would be "far outweighed" by curbs on civil rights, Martin said.
EU passes ACTA onto European Court of Justice
The European Commission reacted to mounting pressure Wednesday by at least temporarily halting plans to ratify the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) proposal, choosing to pass it to the European Court of Justice for inspection. The continent's high court will decide if ACTA violates fundamental EU rights. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht took a balanced position, wanting neither to accept media labels' views at face value nor act based on preconceptions held by some of those protesting the measure.
Study says artificial movie release windows hurt
A joint research paper from the Departments of Economics at both Wellesley College (Brett Danaher) and the University of Minnesota (Joel Waldfogel) has suggested that BitTorrent movie rips and other Internet piracy wasn't hurting movies after they were exported to other countries. In instances where a US movie hadn't been pirated in advance of its international release, revenue from the movie was typically seven percent lower than it was when those abroad could bootleg the material. US sales also didn't necessarily go down with torrents in effect, the authors found.
Germany to wait for EU decision on ACTA
Germany is holding off on joining 22 other EU member states in signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Spiegel Online reported. It has changed its mind, as it previously said it would join. The failure of Germany, Europe's largest economic contributor, to sign the agreement is a huge stumbling block. The powers-that-be in German are said to be holding off on a decision until the EU Parliament makes its own decision in the matter.
ACTA rapporteur says EU process a masquerade
The European Union's chief investigator for the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Kader Arif, may have blown the whistle on tactics behind the deal in a statement following his resignation. He quit after calling it a "masquerade" and confirmed many of the beliefs that the EU Parliament's signing of ACTA wasn't a representative process. The political right in the EU "rushed" the measure in the hopes of keeping it out of the public eye, Arif said, and Parliament itself was being kept from trying to offer any criticism.
ACTA trade agreement signed by 22 EU members
The EU and 22 of its member states have signed on to support the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Tokyo on Thursday. The deed was met with both online and street protests, however, as many who aren't copyright holders believe the trade agreement to be nothing more than a new copyright law. Five countries part of the EU who haven't signed up for ACTA include Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Slovakia.
US concocts TPP rules that mimic ACTA laws
The US government is attempting to bring a renamed version of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that aims to fight piracy to countries such as Australia, Brunei, Chile, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), its intellectual property content is drafted by the US. It follows the DMCA's laws regarding digital locks, ISP liability and subscriber disconnections, but adds a number of its own rules.
MPAA and RIAA hope users turn in themselves
The MPAA and RIAA have sent a response to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator that would call for software to spy on users for potential piracy. Answering a request for comments, the music and movie studios would like antivirus software to include tools for "managing copyright infringement" and block or report copyrighted material it finds.
French Hadopi law simply forced pirates elsewhere
France's three strikes anti-piracy law has actually increased the amount of piracy in the country, a new study has revealed. Despite the threat of being permanently disconnected from the Internet in the country, frequent downloaders increased their activity 3 percent since the law, also known as Hadopi, passed last fall. While BitTorrent use did drop from 17.1 percent to 14.6 percent, any who gave up torrents simply moved to streams or to private hosts using uploaders, which are difficult if not impossible to track with current methods.
ACTA may force tight global restrictions
A leaked set of proposals for the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) suggests the international deal will require harsh online anti-piracy measures. The draft will reportedly force Internet providers in all member states to actively police copyright on their networks. To qualify for safe harbor and reduce their liability, the ISPs would also have to implement "gradual response" rules like France's three-strike law that initially warn and eventually punish those said pirating content, likely forcing them offline.
Can. Copyright Act tabled
The Canadian government's Industry Minister, Jim Prentice, has today officially tabled Bill C-61, a set of proposed amendments to the country's Copyright Act. Early versions of the changes have been criticized by thousands of citizens -- and a number of businesses and other organizations -- as overly harsh, and too close in nature to the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Prentice has defended amendments as necessary for bringing compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organization treaty Canada signed in 1996.