Tanja Niemeier

The International Trade Committee in the European Parliament voted today on the controversial Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and rejected it with a clear majority of 19 votes against and 12 in favour.

Paul Murphy, Socialist Party MEP for Dublin who is a member of the International Trade Committee commented:

“The vote against ACTA today is an important victory in the fight against attacks on our civil liberties. It was defeated in the international trade committee thanks to the mobilisations of tens of thousands of people in protests across Europe. Now the pressure must be kept up in advance of the vote on ACTA in the plenary session of the Parliament to ensure that this pernicious attack on internet freedoms driven by the major corporate interests is defeated.”

“Making the right choice?!” – European Commission defeated

The political groups that voted against ACTA were the European United Left/ Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) Group and the Green Group, both of which had opposed ACTA from the outset, the ALDE group (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group (EFD) and the group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S+D).
The majority of the European People’s Party (EPP) and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) supported ACTA.
“The agreement will now be voted on in the plenary session of the European Parliament in July. If there is a major mobilisation again of people, with protests, petitions and the continuation of the bombardment of MEPs with emails, ACTA can be defeated and an important blow struck against the big business agenda of the European Commission.”, says Paul Murphy.

The Commissioner for International Trade, Karl De Gucht an outspoken defender of neo-liberalism,  addressed the International Trade Committee on the eve of the vote in an attempt to convince the members of the Committee to at least postpone its vote until the European Court of Justice has given a verdict on ACTA. The European Commission – under pressure from the mass movements against ACTA – had referred ACTA to the European Court of Justice for it to decide whether ACTA is compatible with European Law. This strategy that was mainly aimed at gaining time, postponing the vote and demobilising the anti-ACTA movement.

His speech was entitled “making the right choice”. However, the Commissioner also made it very clear that in case the Members of Parliament do not make the ‘right’ choice, the Commission will address the issue of defending intellectual property rights in a different way.

He outlined the following strategy for the European Commission:

” If you decide for a negative vote before the European Court rules, let me tell you that the Commission will nonetheless continue to pursue the current procedure before the Court, as we are entitled to do. A negative vote will not stop the proceedings before the Court of Justice.

If the Court questions the conformity of the agreement with the Treaties we will assess at that stage how this can be addressed.”

Additionally, the Commissioner announced that:

“Once we will have identified and discussed these possible clarifications, I would intend to make a second request for consent to the European Parliament. Whether the Parliament will consider it under this legislature or the subsequent one, will be for you to decide.”

It seems likely now that ACTA will be defeated in July. However, the stakes for the Commission and European big business are high. Defending intellectual property rights is a key interest of European big business. We may be confronted with some sort of ACTA II in the future. Therefore the campaign to defend internet freedom needs to continue.






Η ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Εμπορική Συμφωνία για την Καταπολέμηση της Παραχάραξης) είναι μια εμπορική συμφωνία η οποία δημιουργήθηκε από πολυεθνικές εταιρίες διασκέδασης, προγραμμάτων ηλεκτρονικών υπολογιστών, φαρμάκων και βιοτεχνολογίας και γίνεται μια απόπειρα να επιβληθεί στις κυβερνήσεις του κόσμου.

Το όνομά της είναι παραπλανητικό, γιατί υπάρχουν πολλοί νόμοι ήδη που να καλύπτουν την παραχάραξη – παραποίηση και αντιγραφή και να προστατεύουν τα πνευματικά δικαιώματα.

Η ACTA στην ουσία στοχεύει στην δημιουργία μας αστυνομίας του Ιντερνετ, ένα εργαλείο για λογοκρισία και περιορισμό της ελευθερίας έκφρασης και καταπάτηση των προσωπικών δεδομένων .

Για αυτό το λόγο η ψήφισή της αρχικά από μια σειρά από χώρες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης δημιούργησε ένα τεράστιο κίνημα ενάντιά της. Κατά τη διάρκεια του Γενάρη και του Φλεβάρη σε Γερμανία, Αυστρία, Πολωνία, Τσεχία, Λιθουανία, Γαλλία, Αγγλία, Ελλάδα, Σλοβακία, Λετονία, Βουλγαρία και άλλες χώρες, χιλιάδες πολίτες βγήκαν στους δρόμους καλώντας τις κυβερνήσεις τους και την ΕΕ να μην ψηφίσει την ACTA.

Αυτό είχε σαν αποτέλεσμα 6 από τις 22 χώρες της ΕΕ να παγώσουν την  διαδικασία επικύρωσής της, και 5 να μην την υπογράψουν καθόλου.

Δυστυχώς η Κύπρος παρόλο που στις 27 του Ιανουαρίου  δεν υπέγραψε την ACTA, στην συνάντηση στο Τόκυο,  μέσα στο Μάρτη την ψήφισε στο Υπουργικό Συμβούλιο!

Στις 9 του Ιούνη έχει καλεστεί πανευρωπαϊκή μέρα δράσης ενάντια στην ACTA.

Στο κάλεσμα αυτό ανταποκρινόμαστε και στην Κύπρο. Έχουμε ήδη ξεκινήσει εκστρατεία ενάντια στην ACTA από τις 31/3. Έχουμε συγκεντρώσει μέχρι στιγμής πάνω από 300 υπογραφές και συνεχίζουμε.

Στις 7 του Ιούνη η «Εκστρατεία Σταματήστε την ACTA στην Κύπρο – Stop Acta Cyprus» θα βρεθεί στις 3.30 το μεσημέρι έξω από την βουλή ώστε να καταθέσει τις υπογραφές που έχουν συγκεντρωθεί και να πραγματοποιήσει δημοσιογραφική διάσκεψη. Σας καλούμε να παρευρεθείτε.

Στις 9 του Ιούνη, θα ανταποκριθούμε στο πανευρωπαϊκό κάλεσμα για μια μέρα ενάντια στην ACTA και θα οργανώσουμε διαμαρτυρία στην αρχή της Λήδρας – πλατεία Ελευθερίας, στις 11 το πρωί.

Ζητάμε από το Υπουργικό Συμβούλιο να ακυρώσει και να αποσύρει την απόφαση για την ACTA και να μην προωθήσει κανένα σχετικό νομοσχέδιο μέσω του αρμόδιου Υπουργείου στην Βουλή των Αντιπροσώπων.

Ζητάμε από τους Κύπριους Βουλευτές και Ευρωβουλευτές να καταψηφίσουν την ACTA στην Κυπριακή Βουλή και στην Ευρωβουλή αντίστοιχα σε περίπτωση που κατατεθεί για ψήφιση. 

αναδημοσίευση απο την Καθημερινή της 28/2/2012. παρόλο που είναι λίγο παλιό, έχει πολίτιμα στοιχεία 

Πολιτικοί, νομικοί και κινήματα πολιτών αντιδρούν στη συνθήκη ACTA για την προστασία της πνευματικής ιδιοκτησίας από την πειρατεία

Του Πετρου Παπακωνσταντινου
Τα δικαιώματα πνευματικής ιδιοκτησίας στα προϊόντα της λεγόμενης Νέας Οικονομίας -λογισμικά ηλεκτρονικών υπολογιστών, οπτικοί δίσκοι μουσικής κακινηματογραφικών ταινιών, νέα φάρμακα της βιοτεχνολογίας κ.ά.- έχουν χαρακτηριστεί το πετρέλαιο του 21ου αιώνα. Κατοχυρώνοντας τις σχετικές πατέντες, λίγες πολυεθνικές εταιρείες στο τρίγωνο Αμερική – Ευρώπη – Ιαπωνία φιλοδοξούν να ελέγξουν μακροπρόθεσμα τα στρατηγικά υψώματα μιας παγκόσμιας οικονομίας, το κέντρο βάρους της οποίας μετακινείται από την ενέργεια στην πληροφορία.
Οπως κατά τους προηγούμενους δύο αιώνες ο έλεγχος του άνθρακα, του χάλυβα και του πετρελαίου αποτέλεσε το διακύβευμα σκληρών διεθνών συγκρούσεων, έτσι στις μέρες μας ο έλεγχος της πνευματικής ιδιοκτησίας εξελίσσεται σε πεδίο ενός ασύμμετρου, ευτυχώς αναίμακτου πολέμου μεταξύ εδραιωμένων και εκκολαπτόμενων μεγάλων δυνάμεων. Τους τελευταίους μήνες, το βασικό μέτωπο εστιάζεται στη διεθνή συνθήκη για την προστασία της πνευματικής ιδιοκτησίας από την πειρατεία (ACTA), την οποία υπέγραψαν τον περασμένο Οκτώβριο στο Τόκιο εκπρόσωποι των ΗΠΑ, της Ιαπωνίας και άλλων έξι κρατών. Στη συμφωνία προσχώρησε τον περασμένο μήνα και η Ευρωπαϊκή Ενωση.
Ανέστειλαν την επικύρωση
Προτού καν επικυρωθεί από οποιοδήποτε εθνικό Κοινοβούλιο, η ACTA πυροδοτεί μεγάλες αντιδράσεις. Ο βασικός διαπραγματευτής της Ε.Ε. Καντέρ Αρίφ παραιτήθηκε, αποκαλώντας «μασκαριλίκι» την όλη διαδικασία. Στην Πολωνία, δεκάδες βουλευτές διαμαρτυρήθηκαν φορώντας μέσα στο Κοινοβούλιο τη γνωστή μάσκα των «χακτιβιστών» (πειρατές – ακτιβιστές) που συγκροτούν τη διεθνή κοινότητα Anonymous. Διαδηλώσεις κατά της ACTA πραγματοποιήθηκαν σε δεκάδες ευρωπαϊκές πόλεις, συχνά με εντυπωσιακή συμμετοχή -μόνο στο Μόναχο κατέβηκαν στους δρόμους 20.000 πολίτες- ενώ πολλές κυβερνητικές ιστοσελίδες σταμάτησαν να λειτουργούν ύστερα από συντονισμένες επιθέσεις κυβερνοπειρατών. Υπό την πίεση των διευρυνόμενων αντιδράσεων, Γερμανία, Πολωνία, Βουλγαρία, Τσεχία, Σλοβακία και άλλες χώρες ανέστειλαν την επικύρωση της συμφωνίας.
Οι υποστηρικτές της ACTA προβάλλουν το εύλογο επιχείρημα ότι η παραβίαση της πνευματικής ιδιοκτησίας από την πειρατεία απειλεί εκατομμύρια θέσεις εργασίας στη Δύση – από τους εργαζόμενους στις εταιρείες Πληροφορικής μέχρι τους υπαλλήλους του συνοικιακού βιντεάδικου. Οπως επισημαίνει, ωστόσο, ο Καντέρ Αρίφ στη Wall Street Journal, «το πρόβλημα με την ACTA είναι ότι, σε αντίθεση με αυτό που υποδηλώνει ο τίτλος της, δεν πρόκειται απλώς για συμφωνία κατά της πειρατείας, αλλά για ένα πολύ ευρύτερο πλαίσιο», το οποίο «ανατρέπει την πολύ ευαίσθητη ισορροπία ανάμεσα στα συμφέροντα των κατόχων copyright και τις ατομικές ελευθερίες».
Εάν η νέα συνθήκη επικυρωθεί, οι αρχές θα έχουν τη δυνατότητα να ψάξουν τιςαποσκευές, το laptop ή το ipod οποιουδήποτε επιβάτη θέλει να ταξιδέψει στο εξωτερικό, αναζητώντας πειρατικά προϊόντα. Στη συνέχεια, είναι δυνατό να του ασκήσουν ποινική δίωξη αν διαπιστώσουν ότι έχει κατεβάσει από το Διαδίκτυο βιβλία, λογισμικό, τραγούδια ή ταινίες, χωρίς να πληρώσει για το copyright. Επιπλέον, η ACTA επισείει τη δαμόκλειο σπάθη των κυρώσεων ενώπιον των εταιρειών παροχής υπηρεσιών του Διαδικτύου, ζητώντας τους να απαγορεύσουν την πρόσβαση σε «πειρατικές» ιστοσελίδες.
Το μεγαλύτερο, τουλάχιστον από ηθική άποψη, πρόβλημα αφορά τον τομέα της υγείας, με την ποινικοποίηση της μεταφοράς γενόσημων (generics), φτηνών αντίγραφων γνωστών, πανάκριβων φαρμάκων. Ενα ζήτημα κεφαλαιώδους σημασίας για χώρες όπως η Ινδία, η Νότια Αφρική, αλλά και η Βραζιλία, που χρησιμοποιούν ευρέως γενόσημα για την καταπολέμηση του έιτζ. Τέλος, η συνθήκη προβλέπει ένα νέο, διεθνές όργανο πλάι στο ΔΝΤ και τον ΠΟΕ, τη Διοικούσα Επιτροπή της ACTA εν είδει διεθνούς αστυνομίας κατά της κυβερνοπειρατείας.
Τριετής μυστικότητα
Σκανδαλώδης θεωρείται από πολλούς διακεκριμένους νομικούς και η διαδικασία με την οποία εκπονήθηκε η συμφωνία. Επί τρία χρόνια, οι σχετικές διαβουλεύσεις διεξάγονταν υπό συνθήκες άκρας μυστικότητας, μακριά από οποιονδήποτε έλεγχο των εθνικών Κοινοβουλίων και της Ευρωβουλής. Ουδεμία οργάνωση της κοινωνίας των πολιτών εκλήθη να συμμετάσχει, ενώ ήταν διαρκώς παρόντες οι εκπρόσωποι των ενδιαφερόμενων πολυεθνικών (Φαρμακευτικές Βιομηχανίες Αμερικής, Ενωση Κινηματογραφικών Εταιρειών, Ενωση Δισκογραφικών Εταιρειών, Google, Intel, Sony, Time Warner, Verizoκ.ά.). Μόνο όταν τα Wikileaks έβγαλαν στη φόρα προσχέδιο συμφωνίας, τον Μάιο του 2008, οι σχεδιαστές της άρχισαν να ενημερώνουν, με το σταγονόμετρο, το κοινό.
Επί της ουσίας, η ACTA επιχειρεί να θωρακίσει το νέο καταμερισμό εργασίας που προωθεί η τριάδα ΗΠΑ – Ε.Ε. – Ιαπωνία: Γεωργία και «παλιά» βιομηχανία στον Νότο, καινοτομία και υψηλή προστιθέμενη αξία στον Βορρά. Υπολογιστές που σχεδιάζονται στην Καλιφόρνια και στο Σιάτλ, αλλά κατασκευάζονται μαζικά στην Κίνα και στη Μαλαισία, υψηλή ραπτική στο Παρίσι και μαζική παραγωγή στην Τυνησία. Ωστόσο, η μάταιη προσπάθεια θωράκισης του μονοπωλίου υψηλής τεχνολογίας συγκρούεται με την πραγματική ιστορία ανάπτυξης του ίδιου του δυτικού κόσμου.
Οπως μας υπενθυμίζει ο Φλοράν Λατρίβ στη «Le Monde Diplomatique», η Ελβετία ανέπτυξε τη φαρμακευτική βιομηχανία της, αντιγράφοντας γερμανικές πατέντες τον 19ο αιώνα, ενώ η Αμερική δεν αναγνώρισε πνευματικά δικαιώματαστους Αγγλους συγγραφείς παρά μόνο το 1891. Το πιο τυπικό παράδειγμα έρχεται από την αμερικανική αυτοκινητοβιομηχανία. Μέχρι το 1911, ένα μικρό καρτέλ διέθετε «πνευματικά δικαιώματα» για την εκμετάλλευση του δίχρονου κινητήρα βενζίνης, ευρεσιτεχνίας του Τζορτζ Σέλντεν. Εκείνη τη χρονιά, ένας ανεξάρτητος παραγωγός κατάφερε να «σπάσει» στα δικαστήρια αυτό το ολιγοπώλιο και να επιβάλει ένα είδος «κοινοκτημοσύνης μεταξύ καπιταλιστών»: κάθε εταιρεία μπορούσε να κατοχυρώνει πατέντες, αλλά ήταν υποχρεωμένη να τις μοιράζεται δωρεάν με τις υπόλοιπες εταιρείες του κλάδου. Ο άνθρωπος αυτός ήταν ο Χένρι Φορντ.


interview with Paul Newbery from Alternatywa Socjalistyczna, polish section of CWI (Committee for a Workers International)

Recently we saw a huge movement of people against ACTA in Poland that managed to suspend the ratification.

When and how did it start?

It began at the end of January when one group of hackers – the Polish Anonymous –  attacked the servers of the prime minister’s office. Of course it was not so difficult to do that as the username was admin and the password was admin1! However it was significant because it gained a lot of publicity and everyone learned what ACTA is.

The same day several facebook groups against ACTA started to appear. Through these groups, spontaneous protests were called in over 20 towns and cities. It was not organised from any organisation but just from social networks.

In some cities these were the biggest demonstrations for over 20 years. In Krakow there were 15.000 people, in Wroclaw 5000. In Kielce and Poznan there were also riots and street fighting, such was the anger that was coming out. In total there were more than 50.000 people demonstrating in one day!

What were their slogans?

The main slogan was NO TO ACTA but many protestors were also chanting “Down with the government”. That was because the prime minister, immediately and arrogantly characterised the movement as thieves and downloading and sharing as theft.

However in one week he was forced to retreat. He justified his change of position by explaining that he had missed some points that he hadn’t noticed before and finally he decided to suspend the ratification. That was also a result of the fact that his popularity fell about 10% in one week!

What was the attitude of the other politicians and political parties, and the attitude of the movement towards them?

The rage of the people was huge.

There was just one neoliberal, an extremely reactionary pro-privatization politician, who supports absolute freedom of capital that tried to intervene in the movement. However he forgot that according to his ideology he should be  defending intellectual property and when he went to support the movement he was booed in the protest.

That was the attitude to whoever tried to intervene. There was a very big anti-party political mood.

How do you think that ACTA influences our lives?

ACTA will influence mainly the youth that cannot afford legal access to entertainment, like music, films. Since its very expensive to go to the cinema, downloading and sharing is the only way they can have access, so many youth will be excluded from that.

The other issue is privacy. Many file sharing sites, when they are closed down its not only movies etc. that they have on them but also legal files or your own files. And it seems that if others don’t “use it legally” then the whole server can be blocked.

Another point is youtube. It is impossible to know what is legal and what is not. We share links on facebook all the time but we don’t know if it’s legally up on youtube of if you are sharing an illegal file!

Are there similar laws in Poland?

Since the protest of ACTA there are stories in the media that lawyers, officers and firms are specialising in privacy law. They find the IP address of internet users – at the moment it’s not as easy to do it as it will happen with ACTA – and then they inform the user that he is sharing illegally and that he has to pay a fine. This fine could go up to 1000 euros! And some people pay the fine because they are afraid. Otherwise the police come and they confiscate the computers, even the ones that were bought after the time of the fine!

So the police is working in cooperation with these companies in the blackmail. And this can take up to 8 months because they can take months to check the computer. A lot of people are victims of this. They claim of course that they have not shared anything but they have to prove their innocence rather than the universally accepted principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

Generally, with ACTA, there is a fear that there will be an avalanche of these cases because it will be easier to get the IP number. Of course they can always send a letter even without proof and a lot will just pay the fine. There are so many people that have downloaded at least once, something illegal.

What is happening with the movement now?

The movement for the moment does not do anything. The ratification of ACTA is suspended. However nobody trusts the government so the issue will come back in the future.

We as Socialist Alternative we will be intervening in the future protests and we believe that is important to coordinate internationally against ACTA on the 9th of June, that is the next international day of action called.

In the beggining of May there were many articles about the speech of Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, that she gave in a conference, saying  that “We are now likely to be in a world without SOPA and without ACTA.”. Most of the articles had titles as ACTA is dead.

We spoke with Tanja Niemeier, from the office of Paul Murphy, Socialist Party and United Left Alliance MEP, Ireland.

Interview by Athina Kariati

Q: The last two days (8th and 9th of May) there are articles everywhere quoting Neelie Kroes who said on Friday 4rth of May that we will be living in a world without SOPA and ACTA. She was saying that, because, according to her estimations ACTA will not be ratified on the European Parliament plenary. Do you think something like this may happen?

T: It is true that the massive opposition on the streets against ACTA has substantially shifted the balance of power within the European Parliament. It seems now more likely than ever that the current ACTA agreement will be “killed” when the Agreement is put before the vote in the Plenary. This vote is currently scheduled to take place in July, at the last Plenary Session before the summer break. I believe that it is in that sense that Commissioner Kroes’ recent comments on ACTA, although she is not the responsible Commissioner for ACTA, need to be understood. It is the power of people opposition that has led to what now seems to be the likely end of ACTA in its current format.

Q: Who is against ACTA for the moment and who is in favour?

T: It is hard to tell who is currently genuinely opposed to ACTA. Ever since the mailboxes of MEPs have been swamped by Anti-ACTA activists and ever since the mass demonstrations in many EU Member States have taken place that the opposition against ACTA in the European Parliament has been growing. Some MEPs who had been in favour of ACTA have changed their position. Whether that is because they fear their reelection prospects minimised if they keep on supporting ACTA or whether the vocal concerns of civil society organisations and NGOs has convinced them is hard to tell. It is true however, that the only political groups that have opposed ACTA from the very beginning were the Green Group and the European United Left/Nordic Green Left Group. Many MEPs who are now in opposition to ACTA are still convinced of the need to protect European Intellectual Property Rights. This discussion is therefore not over. The Parliament’s  rapporteur for the ACTA, David Martin from the Socialists and Democrats Group, waited until the very last moment before he publicly announced that his Group will oppose ACTA.

Q: Did some countries take back their signature?

T: As far as I know, there is no country that withdrew its signature. The signature however is not the final criteria for agreeing to ACTA or not. After signature, the Agreement needs to be ratified by the different national Parliaments before it can come into force. It is this ratification process that has now been halted in a number of Member States. Strictly speaking is the signature worthless without ratification

Q: Do you think we should take Kroes statement as a fact and stop pushing for the governments to take a clear position against ACTA? Can we trust them?

T: I think that Kroes’ statement is an important acknowledgement of where things are at at the moment. On May 10, the European Commission has officially referred ACTA to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The ECJ now needs to judge whether ACTA is compatible with European Law. The European Commissioner for International Trade, Karl de Gucht, wanted to convince the International Trade Committee not to vote on ACTA before the ECJ had spoken its verdict on ACTA. This strategy has failed. 

Q: Can a member state sign ACTA independently even if ACTA is not ratified by the European Parliament?

T: This is what was published on the website of the European Parliament on 27 April 2012 in relation to your question: The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is being debated in the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee, which will make a formal recommendation to Parliament as a whole on whether or not to approve it. Parliament cannot amend the agreement, but only approve or reject it. If it does not give its consent, then the agreement falls as far as the EU is concerned.

Under EU Treaty articles 207 and 218, most international agreements need Parliament’s consent to enter into force. Equally, all EU countries need to ratify them.

This means that the INTA Committee, after it has received opinions on ACTA from other Parliamentary Committees (the LIBE (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs)Committee advised the INTA Committee to reject ACTA) , will have another debate on ACTA and a vote on the Agreement at its meeting in June. This vote will act as a recommendation for the Plenary with its 754 members. They will have the final vote and if Parliament as a whole votes against ACTA, the Agreement in its current form is dead since trade is a competence of the European Union.

Q: Are they preparing some other kind of agreement similar to ACTA? We saw in the US they brought SOPA and PIPA which were defeated and now they are bringing CISPA. Is EU preparing a new such policy?

T: The British based newspaper the Guardian wrote the following last week in relation to Commissoner Kroes’ statement: “Ryan Heath, a spokesman for Kroes’s office, said the European commission has not changed its position on the usefulness of Acta, and was continuing to work toward its ultimate ratification, but added that Kroes was “observing political reality”. In my view, this is already an indication that the European Commission has not given up on the idea of an international agreement that protects Intellectual Property Rights and combats counterfeiting. It is an important issue for European Big Business and will not simply go away. In one of the communications by the European Commission, they describe Intellectual Property Rights as Europe’s raw material. There are different ways as to which we could see ACTA reenter by the back door: At this stage, the Karl De Gucht is still optimistic that the ECJ will rule that ACTA is compatible with EU law. If his perspective proves to be correct, he could use that to push for a similar agreement. They could alternatively make some minor alterations to the current agreement and present it under a different name but with a similar content. An important question as to whether some sort of ACTA will be reborn at a later stage is how big the Commission estimates public protest will be. That is why I believe that there should still be maximum protest called when the final vote is taking place in July. This will be an important signal and will make clear that the protests have not died down and will also resume as soon as another attempt for a similar agreement is put on the table.

Ενώ παλέβουμε εμείς για την ACTA στην Αμερική κατάφεραν να σταματήσουν δύο παρόμοιες συμφωνίες, την SOPA και PIPA. Η εκστρατεία ενάντια σε αυτές τις δύο συμφωνίες άνοιξε την συζήτηση για θέματα όπως – τι βρίσκεται πίσω απο την αντιπαράθεση για την λογοκρισία του Internet;

Παραθέτουμες άρθρο της οργάνωσης  Socialist Alternative για το θέμα.

While we were fighting to stop ACTA, in the US people managed to stop two similar agreements, SOPA and PIPA. The campaign against these two agreements opened up the discussion of what was behind the internet censorship controversy.

Here is an article of the organisation  Socialist Alternative on the issue.

What Was Behind the Internet Censorship Controversy?

George Martin Fell Brown, Socialist Alternative (CWI supporters in the US)
On October 26, 2011, the House of Representatives introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) with the support of both political parties. Building on the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), SOPA would have given the United States government unprecedented powers to censor the internet. Three months later, both SOPA and PIPA were withdrawn in the face of a growing protest movement culminating in a 24-hour blackout of several prominent websites. The dispute over SOPA and PIPA brought about renewed discussion of questions relating to intellectual property, censorship, and corporate and government control of the internet. Even now that SOPA and PIPA are off the table, these questions remain.

These past few months have seen Democrats and Republicans coming together to champion the censorship of the internet in the defense of corporate profits. They have seen popular opposition to corporate control of the internet being led by corporations that control the internet. They have seen unions come out in support of their employers. The bills have been defeated and the movement against them has subsided. But a deeper look at the controversy provides a valuable understanding of the nature of the internet under capitalism.

Censoring the Internet

Had they passed, SOPA and PIPA would have given the U.S. government new powers to censor the internet under the pretext of fighting digital piracy. If a website had been suspected of engaging in digital piracy, the laws would have granted the government power to prevent search engines from linking to the site and force internet service providers to block the site. While existing copyright law gives the government the authority to shut down individual web pages, SOPA and PIPA would have given them the authority to shut down entire domains.

It is true that some of the campaigners against SOPA and PIPA exaggerated their effects, implying that the bills’ passage would result in instant China-style censorship. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) went so far as to claim that SOPA “would mean the end of the internet as we know it,” (“Rep. Lofgren: Copyright bill is ‘the end of the Internet’,” CNET News, 10/27/2011). However overstated these claims may have been, SOPA and PIPA did pose a real threat to civil liberties.

Proponents of SOPA and PIPA claimed that only foreign supporters of digital piracy would be affected. However, the laws would have given new powers to the U.S. government, with very little transparency. The U.S. government has a history of using laws like these to its own end. When the USA PATRIOT Act suspended habeas corpus [legal right that a prisoner has to be taken before a court] for suspected terrorists, supporters of the bill claimed the innocent had nothing to fear. Yet there have been numerous accounts of innocent people being detained in Guantanamo Bay. Similarly, the RICO Act, originally intended to combat organized crime, has been used to crack down on the labor movement.

In 2010, the Justice Department considered using intellectual property laws to prosecute Julian Assange for releasing copyrighted “trade secrets” on the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, (“WikiLeaks Prosecution Studied by Justice Department,” NY Times, 12/7/2010). Had SOPA and PIPA passed, they could have easily been used to block access to WikiLeaks or other political websites, using the same pretext. Moreover, they would have set a precedent that would open the gateway to further attacks on civil liberties.

The problems with SOPA and PIPA, however, ran deeper than their potential for abuse. The very premise of the legislation was enforcing “intellectual property,” the notion that information is the property of corporations. The threat to civil liberties comes not only from overzealous enforcement of intellectual property laws, but from the very notion of intellectual property itself. While SOPA and PIPA were defeated, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which gives the U.S. government more limited powers to crack down on digital piracy, remains in effect. At the same time that SOPA and PIPA were defeated, the FBI carried out a raid on the file sharing website MegaUpload under the auspices of the DMCA. This incident clearly showed that the defeat of SOPA and PIPA has failed to resolve concerns about civil liberties. In order to properly address these concerns, one needs to tackle the issue of intellectual property head on.

Intellectual Property

The internet has given people across the globe previously unprecedented access to information and the ability to communicate with individuals in almost any city center. But the increase in free sharing of information, music, books, films and other media has also begun to eat into the profits of the huge media companies of the world. In order to maintain their profits, these media companies have relied increasingly on intellectual property laws, which give them monopolies over the distribution of information. Infringing on this monopoly is deemed “digital piracy” and viewed under the law as a form of theft.

The biggest mover and shaker behind SOPA and PIPA was the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The MPAA represents six big media companies: GE, Disney, Newscorp, TimeWarner, Viacom and CBS. These six companies own the vast majority of media and have bought the politicians in both parties with large donations. It is these corporations, as well as others in the music, television and sports industries, who gain the most from intellectual property laws, and it is their profits that SOPA and PIPA were written to defend.

Intellectual property laws were created with the intention of spurring creativity by allowing artists to use a temporary monopoly to make money from their work. But the primary effect of intellectual property laws has not been to allow artists to profit off of their own work; it has been to allow media conglomerates to profit off of their employees’ work. The artists are forced into restrictive long-term contracts that give corporations indefinite ownership of the artists’ work. Since the mid-twentieth century, intellectual property laws have been expanded so that corporations can continue to have ownership over intellectual property long after the artist’s death. Moreover, profit from this corporate ownership depends on making art more difficult to access. The net effect is to stifle creativity instead of spurring it.

Many individuals readily accept the problems with intellectual property but dismiss anti-copyright activism as unimportant. After all, having to pay too much for music seems like a trifling concern when people are starving. But the contradictions of intellectual property are not limited to the realm of art and entertainment. Another prominent supporter of SOPA and PIPA was the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Pfizer’s concern was not that people were using the internet to download movies without paying for them. It was that people were using the internet to purchase medicine from Canada. Unlike the United States, Canada has a single-payer health care system, a consequence of which is that Canadian pharmaceuticals are significantly more affordable than their American counterparts. For many working people, getting access to affordable medications is a matter of life and death.

Some opponents of SOPA and PIPA, such as Google and Facebook, have promoted the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN Act) as a less extreme alternative. The OPEN Act rests on the same defense of intellectual property, even if it is less zealous in its enforcement. But intellectual property serves to enrich big business by fleecing working people. As such, it should be vigorously opposed.


Faced with a threat to civil liberties and a naked profit-grab on the part of big business, one would have expected that the labor movement would have been firmly against SOPA and PIPA. However, the AFL-CIO [US trade union confederation] actually came out in support of the legislation. The strongest support came from six unions representing actors, musicians, stagehands and other workers in the entertainment industry. These unions represent workers who are exploited by the very industries promoting the bill.

Paul Almeida, president of the AFL-CIO’s Department for Professional Employees, dismissed civil liberties concerns, arguing:

“Freedom of speech is not the same as lawlessness on the Internet. There is no inconsistency between protecting an open Internet and safeguarding intellectual property. Protecting intellectual property is not the same as censorship; the First Amendment [part of the US constitution defending freedom of speech] does not protect stealing goods off trucks,” (“Statement Before Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives,” November 16, 2011).

Almeida went on to describe digital piracy as “wage theft.” However, the real wage theft is being committed by the very corporations who devised SOPA and PIPA in the first place. While the executives of the huge media companies cynically use the cover of poor artists and producers to pull on the heartstrings, they simultaneously make enormous profits on the backs of those same artists.

The hypocrisy of the media companies regarding the rights of the artist was graphically demonstrated during the writers’ strike of 2007-2008. This strike was fought because the corporations in the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers were collecting profits on online streaming and digital downloads of movies and TV shows while shortchanging the writers of said movies and TV shows. The same media conglomerates that were fleecing their workers four years ago are now claiming to represent their interests.

For a more extreme example of real wage theft, one can look at the rotten contracts forced upon non-unionized fiction writers at publishing companies like Full Fathom Five, which produced the Lorien Legacies series of young adult novels.

“The writer would be financially responsible for any legal action brought against the book but would not own its copyright. Full Fathom Five could use the writer’s name or a pseudonym without his or her permission, even if the writer was no longer involved with the series, and the company could substitute the writer’s full name for a pseudonym at any point in the future. The writer was forbidden from signing contracts that would “conflict” with the project; what that might be wasn’t specified. The writer would not have approval over his or her publicity, pictures, or biographical materials. There was a $50,000 penalty if the writer publicly admitted to working with Full Fathom Five without permission,” (“Inside Full Fathom Five, James Frey’s Young-Adult-Novel Assembly Line,” New York Magazine, November 12, 2010).

Contracts like this are why workers in the entertainment industry need strong, militant unions. The unions need to fight for stronger contracts for their members and organize non-unionized artists, such as the writers at Full Fathom Five, so they can get stronger contracts as well. This means openly challenging the corporations’ use of copyrights against artists. Such a challenge would do far more good to artists than going after digital piracy.

Had the AFL-CIO come out against SOPA and PIPA, it could have exposed the media companies’ hypocrisy. This would have put unions in the entertainment industry in a better bargaining position for future strikes and contract negotiations. They could have staunchly defended the right of working people to have access to music, TV, movies and literature without being fleeced by large corporations. This would have won support for organized labor among broad sections of the working class.

Instead, by allying with their employers in support of SOPA and PIPA, the AFL-CIO damaged its reputation among anti-censorship and anti-copyright activists. It made the entire entertainment industry, from the CEO down to the stagehand, seem like one reactionary mass. This allowed the movement against SOPA and PIPA to be co-opted by other sections of big business that molded the campaign in their own image. Instead of a battle between working people and capitalists, we had a battle between the capitalists of Hollywood and the capitalists of Silicon Valley.

Internet Blackout

The protests against SOPA initially took the form of individuals writing letters to Congress and putting up anti-SOPA avatars on Facebook. On January 18, however, the campaign took a new turn with a 24-hour blackout of the internet, as entire websites replaced their usual content with anti-SOPA messages. This idea was initiated by Reddit, a subsidiary of the media conglomerate Advance Publications. It soon got the support of other websites, most notably Google and Wikipedia, the first and sixth most viewed websites on the internet.

The most important participants in the blackout were corporations such as Google, Craigslist and Reddit, as well as non-profit organizations such as Wikimedia Foundation and Mozilla. Thousands of smaller websites joined in. Some websites, such as Wikipedia, blacked out completely. Google only blocked out its logo, but it also used the blackout to promote an anti-SOPA petition that collected over 4.5 million signatures. Overall, lawmakers received “more than 14 million names—more than 10 million of them voters,” (“After an Online Firestorm, Congress Shelves Antipiracy Bills,” NY Times, 1/20/2012). These actions convinced enough politicians to withdraw their support for SOPA and PIPA, ultimately stopping the bills.

The internet blackout sent a signal to politicians that this was not business as usual. The disruptive effects of the blackout were very similar to those of a strike, to the point that many people referred to the event as an “internet strike.” In reality, it more closely resembled a strike of capital than it did a proper strike. The internet was not blacked out because workers withheld their labor, but because big businesses and privately owned non-profit organizations blocked their own content. Traditionally, a strike of capital is an unabashedly reactionary measure in which corporations withhold their supplies to economically cripple governments that carry out too many pro-worker measures. The internet blackout did not follow this pattern exactly, but it was still driven by corporations withdrawing their services to influence government policy. The internet blackout was complicated by two key factors: it was a conflict between two segments of big business, and it had the support of a large portion of the population.

While the entertainment industry is highly dependent on intellectual property laws to maintain its profits, other segments of big business don’t stand to gain as much. Internet companies that rely heavily on user-generated content, such as search engines and social networking sites, can be inconvenienced by overly strict enforcement of intellectual property laws because they have difficulty controlling the content that appears on their sites. This is why these companies mobilized against SOPA and PIPA. However, this does not mean that Google – a company known for tax evasion, collecting customers’ personal information, and cooperating with dictators in restricting the flow of information – has the public’s interests at heart. It is telling to observe how Google’s involvement altered the message of the anti-SOPA protests.

Google watered down the anti-corporate aspects of the campaign. Instead of attacking intellectual property laws and corporate profits, Google promoted the tame, business-friendly slogan of “End Piracy, Not Liberty.” In addition to the petition, Google circulated a letter attacking SOPA that was co-signed by eight other internet companies, including Facebook and Twitter. This letter stressed the need for “preserving the innovation and dynamism that has made the Internet such an important driver of economic growth and job creation.” It also defended the DMCA, promoted the OPEN Act, and assured that the signatories would “act in good faith to remove infringing content from their sites,” (http://boingboing.net/2011/11/16/internet-giants-place-full-pag.html). In this way, the campaign against SOPA and PIPA was transformed from a campaign against profit-hungry media monopolies into a campaign in support of profit-hungry internet monopolies.

A Free and Open Internet?

During the internet blackout, Wikipedia’s alternate front page warned that the legislation “could fatally damage the free and open internet.” Most of the popular opposition to SOPA and PIPA was based on this same desire for a free and open internet. To achieve this desire, however, far more will be required than stopping SOPA and PIPA or intellectual property laws in general.

The entire brouhaha over SOPA and PIPA demonstrated that politicians of both parties represent the interests of big business. The legislation was promoted by Democrats and Republicans working together. In fact, the Democrats – traditionally viewed as the more anti-business party – were more vehement in their support for the legislation than the Republicans. As long as politics is dominated by the two parties of big business, there will remain a threat of the government intervening to censor the internet in the interests of big business.

The threats to a free and open internet are not limited to direct government censorship. It can also come from the internet companies themselves. The day before the internet blackout, MPAA Chief Executive Chris Dodd attacked the event as “an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today,” (“MPAA’s Chris Dodd takes aim at SOPA strike,” LA Times, 1/17/12). This is utter hypocrisy coming from Dodd, but it nonetheless points to legitimate dangers of leaving the internet in the hands of corporate monopolies and large, privately owned non-profits.

Under the rule of capitalism, control over the internet has been concentrated in the hands of a few big companies. Google currently holds 70% of the search engine market and, as of 2010, 75 percent of the page views in the U.S. come from 10 websites, (“The Internet’s Unholy Marriage to Capitalism,” Monthly Review, March 2011). The internet blackout showed the power these companies have to control the flow of information. Most people were willing to look over this because the companies were using their power to stop highly unpopular legislation. But these websites are just as capable of blacking out in defense of their less savory policies, such as tax evasion and the collection and sale of user data.

In contrast, the non-profit Wikipedia has given us a taste of what a free and open learning and information tool can look like even under capitalism. Although privately owned, most of Wikipedia’s content is generated collectively by people across the globe working, not for money, but for their own desire to share knowledge. The fact that something like this could not only exist but become one of the world’s leading sources of knowledge calls into question the entire capitalist conception of the profit motive and individual competition. However, corporations can edit Wikipedia articles and portray themselves in a more favorable light, without regard to objectivity. Moreover, in order to maintain its existence under capitalism, Wikipedia is increasingly dependent on wealthy benefactors such as Google, the Ford Foundation, and business magnate George Soros. Especially for a privately owned organization, this presents a dangerous conflict of interest.

To create a free and open internet it is certainly necessary to fight against bills like SOPA and PIPA that censor the internet. This also means opposing more moderate bills like the OPEN Act as well as existing anti-piracy legislation like DMCA. But it is also necessary to look beyond the threat of direct government censorship. This means fighting against the control of the internet by big business.

To keep big business from crushing even the beginnings of free and open media, it is required that we stop its stranglehold the economy. It is necessary to take the big corporations, including those that own our media, into public ownership under the democratic control of our communities. In order to ensure that free information is provided on the internet, control over the internet and advertising should be taken from big corporations and run by elected representatives of the community.

Rather than relying on intellectual property laws, a democratic socialist society would allow people free access to information while genuinely championing the rights of the artist. A workers’ state would guarantee decent wages and social security to artists, programmers and researchers. At the same time it would allow to use all research for example in medicine to be used immediately and internationally without being blocked by profit interests hiding behind intellectual property. It would offer arts and information free for all, released from the control of the rich and powerful. The capitalist system itself must be done away with to clear a space for the real open flow of information and discussion.

Πέσαμε πάνω σε αυτό το άρθρο στην αναζήτηση για μια θέση απο τους κύπριους Ευρωβουλευτές.
Δυστυχώς, και μας κάνει εντύπωση που το άρθρο δημοσιεύτηκε πριν να περάσει απο το Υπουργικό η Συμφωνία και παρόλα αυτά το κόμμα του κυρίου Τριανταφυλλίδη δεν ήξερε να καταψηφίσει την συνθήκη…ή μήπως την καταψηφίζει; δεν μας έχουν ξεκαθαρίσει.

English text follows

Σήμερα ολοκληρώθηκε η διαδικασία να στείλουμε Φαξ στους προοδευτικούς φορείς της Κύπρου, και φορεις που τους αφορά άμεσα η ACTA όπως οι αγρότες και καλλιτεχνικές ομάδες, θεατρικές κινηματογραφικές κτλ.
Αυτό που τους ζητάμε ειναι να τοποθετηθούν ενάντια στην ACTA και να στείλουν κι αυτοί ψηφίσματα διαμαρτυρίας.

Today we concluded the process of sending Faxes to the progressive groups and organisations of Cyprus, and groups that are imediatelly influenced by ACTA, like the farmers, but also cultural groups, theatrical groups, movie clubs etc.

What we ask is to oppose to ACTA and send protest letters. 

Οι φορείς με τους οποίους επικοινωνήσαμε ήδη είναι οι εξής:

The groups we already contacted are:

  1. Κ.Ε. ΑΚΕΛ
  2. ΕΔΟΝ,
  3. ΠΕΟ,
  4. ΚΙΣΑ,
  5. ΠΟΦΕΝ
  6. ΠΑΝΑΓΡΟΤΙΚΟΣ Λευκωσίας,
  7. Παγκύπρια Ένωση Γεωπόνων,
  8. ΔΕΟΚ Κεντρικά,
  9. ΕΔΕΚ Κεντρικά,
  10. Κιν/κή Λέσχη Λεμεσού,
  11. Σατιρικό Θέατρο
  12. Φωτογραφικό και Κιν/κό Όμιλο Δήμου Έγκωμης
  13. Cine-Studio (Όμιλο Φίλων Κιν/φου)
  14. Θέατρο Ένα
  15. Ανταρτες

Ακόμη δεν έχουμε πάρει απάντηση απο κανέναν. Θα ενημερώνουμε για εξελήξεις.

We didnt get any answer from anybody yet. We will keep you posted for any development. 

Αν γνωρίζετε κι εσείς κι άλλους φορείς που μπορούμε να επικοινωνήσουμε μαζί τους τότε στείλτε μας το φάξ τους ή και το εμαιλ τους.

Ή δώστε τους τα παρακάτω -> το συμπληρωματικό- επεξηγηματικό γράμμα που τους στέλνουμε μπορείτε να το βρείτε εδώ

και τους στέλνουμε το ψήφισμα διαμαρτηρίας που μπορείτε να βρείτε εδώ

If you know more groups that we could contact, send us their fax or their email. 

Or give to them the following letters -> the explaining letter of what we do you can find here 

and we send them the protest letter that you can find here 

Σε ανάρτηση του Γραφείου Τύπου και Πληροφοριών, καθώς και στο σαιτ της Κυπριακής Προεδρίας της Ευρωπαικής Ένωσης βρικαμε στις 16/3 τα εξής: 

“H Υπουργός Εμπορίου, Βιομηχανίας και Τουρισμού εκπροσώπησε την Κύπρο στο Συμβούλιο Εξωτερικών Υποθέσεων της ΕΕ για θέματα Κοινής Εξωτερικής Εμπορικής Πολιτικής, στις Βρυξέλλες.


Η Υπουργός Εμπορίου, Βιομηχανίας και Τουρισμού κα Πραξούλα Αντωνιάδου Κυριακού εκπροσώπησε την Κύπρο στη Σύνοδο του Συμβουλίου Εξωτερικών Υποθέσεων της ΕΕ, σε σχηματισμό Υπουργών Εμπορίου για θέματα Κοινής Εξωτερικής Εμπορικής Πολιτικής της Ένωσης που πραγματοποιήθηκε σήμερα στις Βρυξέλλες.


Τις εργασίες της Συνόδου απασχόλησε, επίσης, η πολυμερής εμπορική συμφωνία για την καταπολέμηση της παραποίησης/απομίμησης (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – ACTA). Η κα Αντωνιάδου ενημέρωσε τους ομολόγους της ότι το Υπουργικό Συμβούλιο έχει δώσει την έγκρισή του για υπογραφή της συμφωνίας, κάτι που αναμένεται εφόσον ολοκληρωθούν οι εσωτερικές διαδικασίες. Χαρακτήρισε, επίσης, πολύ θετικό το γεγονός ότι ζητήθηκε η γνωμοδότηση του Δικαστηρίου της ΕΕ, ώστε να αντιμετωπισθούν οι ανησυχίες που έχουν εκφραστεί. ”

Τα λίνκς των πηγών μας είναι εδώ και εδώ 

Μόνο έτσι καταφέραμε να μάθουμε τί έχει γίνει με την ΑCTA στην Κύπρο. Δυστυχώς κανένα απο τα ΜΜΕ δεν έχει γράψει ξεκάθαρα τι έγινε. 

Η ACTA αναμένουμε να δούμε πότε θα πάει στην Βουλή. Μέχρι τότε συνεχίζουμε τη συγκέντρωση υπογραφών και το να στέλνουμε γράμματα διαμαρτυρίας, καθώς και να ζητάμε απο καλιτέχνες και φορείς να δείξουν την στήριξή τους. 

Συνεχίζουμε τον αγώνα μέχρι να μην περάσει η ΑCTA  στην Κύπρο. 

Ο κύριος Γιώργος Περδίκης ειναι ο μοναδικός βουλευτής ο οποίος απάντησε στο γράμμα διαμαρτυρίας που του στείλαμε. 
εδώ η απάντησή του:

Αγαπητοί φίλοι,

Έλαβα την επιστολή σας σχετικά με τη συμφωνία Acta. Το Κίνημα Οικολόγων Περιβαλλοντιστών και εγώ προσωπικά έχουμε ταχθεί εναντίων της συμφωνίας αυτής και πρόθεσή μας είναι η καταψήφισή της. Έχουμε καταθέσει και σχετική ερώτηση στην Βουλή των Αντιπροσώπων. Πρόθεσή μας είναι να προχωρήσουμε και με εγγραφή θέματος στην Κοινοβουλευτική Επιτροπή Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων και Ίσων Ευκαιριών μεταξύ Ανδρών και Γυναικών.

Με οικολογικούς χαιρετισμούς,

Γιώργος Περδίκης

Βουλευτής Λευκωσίας

Κινήματος Οικολόγων Περιβαλλοντιστών



 Παρακάτω αναρτούμε την ερώτηση που έκανε στην Βουλή και την απάντηση που πήρε απο τον Υπουργό Εμπορίου – Νεοκλή Συλικιώτη. Δυστυχώς η απάντηση, αν παρατηρήσετε κι εσείς δεν απαντάει την ουσία του ερωτήματος.
Ή μάλλον… αν διαβάσουμε ανάμεσα στις λέξεις τότε θα δόυμε ότι τελικά η Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία, ο Υπουργός Εμπορίου και κατα προέκταση, η κυβέρνηση και το ΑΚΕΛ ειναι υπέρ της Συμφωνίας!!! Καθαρά φαίνεται αυτό απο τον τόνο και τον τρόπο παρουσίασης της συμφωνίας στην παράγραφο 4, καθώς και το γεγονός ότι δεν λέει αν μπορεί και αν θα γίνει να παρθεί πίσω η απόφαση υιοθέτησης απο την Κύπρο!
Ακόμη κι αν στην Ευρωπαική Ένωση δεν περάσει εμείς εδώ στην Κύπρο θα έχουμε ακόμη πολύ δουλειά για να σταματήσουμε την ACTA!
 Οι προσταγές των πολυεθνικών δεν πρέπει να περάσουν. Κι αν οι βουλευτές μας και οι υπουργοί δεν θέλουν να αντισταθούν τότε χρειάζεται να τους πιέσουμε να το κάνουν.

Ερώτηση με αρ., ημερομηνίας 1ης Μαρτίου 2012, του βουλευτή εκλογικής περιφέρειας Λευκωσίας κ. Γιώργου Περδίκη

«Η Εμπορική Συμφωνία κατά της Παραποίησης, γνωστή και ως “ACTA”, είναι πιθανό να περιορίσει σε σημαντικό βαθμό τις ελευθερίες στο διαδίκτυο, την ελευθερία της έκφρασης, καθώς και την ελεύθερη πρόσβαση σε φάρμακα στις αναπτυσσόμενες χώρες. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και είκοσι δύο από τα κράτη μέλη της, συμπεριλαμβανομένης δυστυχώς και της Κύπρου, έχουν ήδη υπογράψει τη συμφωνία, αλλά υπάρχουν ακόμη περιθώρια παρέμβασης, καθώς η διαδικασία βρίσκεται στο κρίσιμο σημείο της ψηφοφορίας στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο. Η ACTA παραβιάζει κατάφωρα θεμελιώδη δικαιώματα και ελευθερίες και δημιουργεί ένα επικίνδυνο για τη δημόσια υγεία πλαίσιο σε ό,τι αφορά τον περιορισμό της ελεύθερης πρόσβασης σε φάρμακα.

Παρακαλώ τον αρμόδιο υπουργό να πληροφορήσει τη Βουλή των Αντιπροσώπων αν εξετάζεται το ενδεχόμενο απόσυρσης της υπογραφής της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας από την Εμπορική Συμφωνία κατά της Παραποίησης, η οποία περιορίζει και παραβιάζει θεμελιώδη δικαιώματα και ελευθερίες.»

Απάντηση ημερομηνίας 19 Απριλίου 2012 του Υπουργού Εμπορίου, Βιομηχανίας και Τουρισμού κ. Νεοκλή Συλικιώτη στην ερώτηση με αρ., ημερομηνίας 1ης Μαρτίου 2012, του βουλευτή εκλογικής περιφέρειας Λευκωσίας

κ. Γιώργου Περδίκη

«Αναφέρομαι στην επιστολή του Γενικού Διευθυντή της Βουλής των Αντιπροσώπων, με ημερομηνία 7 Μαρτίου 2012, που αφορά στην πιο πάνω ερώτηση του Βουλευτή κ. Γιώργου Περδίκη και σας ενημερώνω τα εξής:

2.       Με στόχο μια νέα Διεθνή Συμφωνία κατά των απομιμήσεων (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement-ACTA), η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και αριθμός κρατών μελών του Παγκόσμιου Οργανισμού Εμπορίου ξεκίνησαν το 2007 διαβουλεύσεις.

3.       Οι διαπραγματεύσεις της εν λόγω συμφωνίας ολοκληρώθηκαν το Νοέμβριο του 2010 μεταξύ των χωρών Αυστραλίας, Καναδά, Ιαπωνίας, Δημοκρατίας της Κορέας, Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών του Μεξικού, Βασιλείου του Μαρόκου, Νέας Ζηλανδίας, Δημοκρατίας της Σινγκαπούρης, Ομοσπονδίας της Ελβετίας, Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών Αμερικής, Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και των κρατών μελών της.

4.       Σκοπός της Συμφωνίας ACTA είναι η αύξηση της αποτελεσματικότητας του συστήματος προστασίας των δικαιωμάτων πνευματικής ιδιοκτησίας και η καταπολέμηση των απομιμήσεων/παραποιήσεων στο διεθνές εμπόριο. Περιλαμβάνει επίσης, διατάξεις που αφορούν την επιβολή των δικαιωμάτων πνευματικής ιδιοκτησίας, συμπεριλαμβανομένων και διατάξεων για αστικά, ποινικά μέτρα και μέτρα επιβολής σε ψηφιακό περιβάλλον. Ακόμη, αποσκοπεί στο να βοηθήσει, να σταματήσει την έκρηξη του παγκόσμιου εμπορίου παραποιημένων και πειρατικών προϊόντων και να ενθαρρύνει τους δημιουργούς των πνευματικών δικαιωμάτων. Ταυτόχρονα, θα βοηθήσει στο νόμιμο εμπόριο μεταξύ των χωρών, στην ανταγωνιστικότητα και στην αύξηση της απασχόλησης.

5.       Σημειώνεται ότι την εν λόγω Συμφωνία (επισυνάπτεται το κείμενο στα ελληνικά ως Συνημμένο 4) έχουν υπογράψει στο Τόκυο η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και 22 κράτη μέλη της, ενώ 5 κράτη μέλη της, μεταξύ των οποίων και η Κύπρος, δεν έχουν ακόμη ολοκληρώσει τις εσωτερικές τους διαδικασίες και άρα δεν έχουν ακόμη υπογράψει.

6.      Σημειώνεται επίσης ότι, η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή, λαμβάνοντας υπόψη αντιδράσεις από διάφορα κοινωνικά σύνολα, έχει ζητήσει και αναμένει γνωμοδότηση από το Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο αναφορικά με τη συμβατότητα της συγκεκριμένης συμφωνίας με το Ευρωπαϊκό Κεκτημένο και κατά πόσο αυτή αντίκειται στα θεμελιώδη δικαιώματα και ελευθερίες των χρηστών του διαδικτύου.

7.      Επισυνάπτονται για ενημέρωσή σας (Συνημμένα 1-3) ενημερωτικά σημειώματα της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής αναφορικά με τη Συμφωνία ACTA, καθώς επίσης και η δήλωση του Επίτροπου κ. Karel De Gucht.»

Σημείωση:   Τα επισυνημμένα έγγραφα έχουν καταχωρισθεί στο Αρχείο της Βουλής.  Αντίγραφό τους δόθηκε στο βουλευτή που υπέβαλε την ερώτηση.