Thursday, 1 March 2012

Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

I write below the response from my MP re my contact to him regarding ACTA,(and SOPA and PIPA):
Dear Mr Cocks
Thank you for contacting me about the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Counterfeiting and piracy of intellectual property rights (IPRs) are recognised as a problem that requires effective action on a global scale. This is why the UK, along with 21 other member states, had no choice but to sign ACTA on the 26th January 2012. The only five member states who have yet to sign the agreement are Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, Netherlands and Slovakia. They are expected to sign it soon though.

ACTA will work against organised crime, helping to persue those who steal intellectual property. It is clear that this kind of behaviour needs to be tackled; not only does it stifle innovation and prevent fair competition, it also costs the EU an estimated 8 billion euros annually through the saturation of our markets with counterfeit goods.

I would like to clarify that ACTA is a lot different to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). While SOPA and PIPA are draft US laws that would change US legislation, ACTA does not require any EU law changes. Anything you can do legally today will still be legal after ratification of ACTA.

I do hope this information helps, and thank you once again for contacting me about this important issue.

Kindest regards
Yours sincerely
Dr Phillip Lee
Member of Parliament for Bracknell

My comment: I find this response unsatisfactory and ill informed to say the least.

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