British MEP asked to examine ACTA
David Martin, a British MEP from the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group, has been asked to draw up the European Parliament’s opinion on ACTA, a controversial international anti-counterfeiting agreement.
Martin said in a statement: “I want the Parliament to have a facts-based discussion and not a debate around myths. That is why I want to have an open debate with all concerned.”
He said that as ACTA was meant to be about better enforcement of existing copyright and intellectual property rights through international co-operation, it “should not change existing European law in this area”. Martin said he would examine the text thoroughly and take legal advice, including from the European Court of Justice.
Opponents of ACTA claim that the agreement, which has been signed by 22 EU member states, will lead to a toughening of anti-piracy laws and be used to restrict internet users’ rights.
Martin will replace Kader Arif, a French Socialist MEP, who resigned in protest at the way ACTA had been negotiated by the European Commission. Arif said the agreement had been agreed without transparency.
The European Parliament has to approve the agreement before it can come into force.
The Parliament’s international trade committee will hold its first discussion on the agreement on 29 February. The Parliament is organising a public workshop on 1 March to discuss ACTA.
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