THE MAN RESPONSIBLE for moderating European discussions over the draconian Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement will recommend that the European Parliament reject it.
The ACTA treaty has drawn a lot of opposition and criticism. It is said to have been dreamed up in darkened chambers by industry cartel lobbyists and provide the blueprint for a jackbooted approach to copyright infringment.
ACTA is taking its time going through European review, and is on its way to the European Court of Justice after the European Commission overruled the European Parliament and decided that august body should rule on its legality under European law.
Today at a hearing the European Parliament rapporteur David Martin said that he will recommend that ACTA be rejected. A report on the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure ACTA workgroup's ACTA blog says that he could not balance citizens' fears against the demands of third parties, and did not want to see that forced.
"Unfortunately, its designation as a trade treaty meant ACTA could be negotiated behind closed doors. This initial lack of transparency clearly backfired; rumour, wild speculation and paranoia abounded leading to the European Parliament adopting a resolution condemning the secretive approach of the Commission and EU Council of Ministers and resulting in the release of the negotiating documents in April 2010," he explained in a blog post today.
"Fear and rumour about ACTA still remain. There is a belief that ACTA will alter the nature of the internet by putting legal pressure on Internet Service Providers to police their service."
He added that he will now begin drawing up his recommendations in light of a committee vote that is scheduled at the end of May. µ