Pia Olsen Dyhr, vores venstreorienterede og p.t. meget lobby-bukkende handelsminister, skrev et indlæg i Information, hvor hun påstod at ACTA er “en sejr for Danmark“. Indlægget består mest af udenomssnak – Olsen Dyhr taler om “forfalskning” af tasker, sko og andre mærkevarer, mens hun slet ikke kommer ind på konsekvenserne for folks brug af Internettet.
The minister highlights problems with counterfeit goods. These undoubtedly exist, and are especially worrying for things like medicines or spare aircraft parts. But this does not address the real problem with ACTA: that it seeks to apply the same harsh legislation aimed at curbing dangerous counterfeit goods to the simplest digital copyright infringement.
For example, Article 9 of ACTA states: “In determining the amount of damages for infringement of intellectual property rights, a Party’s judicial authorities shall have the authority to consider, inter alia, any legitimate measure of value the right holder submits, which may include lost profits, the value of the infringed goods or services measured by the market price, or the suggested retail price.”
For physical counterfeits, that might make sense, but it doesn’t for digital copies. What is the lost profit from sharing one file? One Euro – the cost of the copy – or the millions that the copyright industries claim has been lost as a result of the multiple copies around the Net?
Not only that, but Section 4 on Criminal Enforcement uses a definition of “piracy on a commercial scale” that includes “indirect economic or commercial advantage.” Obviously, everyone that shares digital files without paying derives indirect economic advantage; and because there is no *minimum* level of infringement specified in ACTA, that means that sharing a single MP3 could in principle lead to criminal charges and imprisonment.
Moreover, another clause stipulates that signatories “shall ensure that criminal liability for aiding and abetting is available under its law.” Even linking to a site that holds unauthorised copies of copyright materials is clearly aiding someone download them, and therefore in principle, because of the very broad definitions employed by ACTA, anyone on Facebook or Twitter who points to a video clip that has not been authorised, and which has some advertising around it (thus making it “commercial”) could be subject to criminal charges and imprisonment.
These are just some of the examples of the way in which the inclusion of digital infringement alongside counterfeits has led to a situation where ordinary users of the Internet may find themselves threatened with criminal proceedings and imprisonment.
Other major issues include the fact that ACTA requires authorities to “order an online service provider to disclose expeditiously to a right holder information sufficient to identify a subscriber whose account was allegedly used for infringement.” That is, guilty upon accusation, and no right to privacy.
Since ACTA has been drawn up and agreed behind closed doors, there is now no way to amend these problematic passages. In order to protect European citizens from the disproportionate punishments that ACTA provides for, to preserve their privacy and the assumption of innocence before being proved guilty, the only solution is for the European Parliament to reject ACTA when it is presented for ratification, and for new treaties to be drawn up that deal with counterfeits and digital infringement separately.
Og mens den danske regering og andre har travlt med at stikke blår i øjnene på os alle sammen, er der forhandlinger i gang om TPP, en opfølger til ACTA, der ganske enkelt vil udstede retningslinjer for, hvordan en computer overhovedet må virke, hvis den skal kunne afspille musik. Der er virkelig og for alvor grund til at være på vagt og stoppe ACTA nu!