Turmoil For Copyright Companies
After suffering a great loss in Europe (the rejection of ACTA by the EU Parliament), major copyright companies are worried about what follows from now on.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was set to push copyright laws on international borders, including its controversial provisions, a cause for a lot of debating and criticism from not only the public, but also companies such as Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, etc. Despite its defeat in the parliament, there are still two more acts working their way around, one being CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) and TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership).
However, ACTA may still have a chance to live on if Australia, New Zealand and Mexico agree to sign the act, but fact is that Australia is already giving the impression that ACTA will not pass, while New Zealand has opened a public poll to aid the government decide whether the agreement will be ratified or not. The last on the list, Mexico, as the Mexican congress already voted to reject ACTA.
What’s important to realize is that if ACTA would have passed, the other incoming legislations (CETA, TPP) could have restricted your internet rights even further, but with ACTA’s defeat things are not going to be that easy anymore.
Major corporations’ reaction to this development was better explained by IP-Watch:
At a little-publicised annual meeting of the Transatlantic Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Working Group in Brussels this week representatives of the European Commission, several United States agencies and rights holder agreed that there might be tough times ahead for IPRs and rights holders. Meanwhile, the Commission is under pressure on copyright exceptions for visually impaired readers on the eve of a World Intellectual Property Organization meeting. And the Commission this week introduced new rules on collective societies aimed at easing user access to content.
Where IP rights once was a field for experts, now it drives the masses to the streets, the European Commission said referring to recent protests against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
Without a much stronger commitment from rights holders, the rejection of ACTA would just be the beginning, Commission representatives said according to observers.
George York, deputy assistant to the US Trade Representative for IP and Innovation, and Susan Wilson, director of the Office of Intellectual Property Rights in the US Department of Commerce, confirmed during the meeting that despite ACTA’s failure in the EU, the ratification process would go on in the US, despite concerns by some experts about potential inconsistencies with US laws. The EU Commission confirmed its determination to wait for the European Court of Justice’s ruling on ACTA before deciding on next steps for the treaty voted down by Parliament earlier this month.
There seems to be little appetite in the administrations of either side to reconsider ACTA and potential problems with the treaty, David Hammerstein, former Green Party Parliament member and now adviser to the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), told Intellectual Property Watch.
Jean-Luc Demarty, the director general of the Trade Directorate of the European Commission, said at the meeting with regard to question of a potential split of counterfeiting and copyright piracy, IPR could not just be for bags and t-shirts.
Also, Zeropaid found out from an e-mail sent by the US Chamber the following:
Tomorrow, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center will provide testimony at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Hearing on “Unfair Trading Practices Against the U.S.: Intellectual Property Rights Infringement, Property Expropriation, and other Barriers.”
The GIPC’s President and CEO, David Hirschmann, will highlight the challenges to intellectual property protection and enforcement abroad and outline opportunities for Congress to booster efforts to protect IP.
The e-mail contained a link directing to the US Foreign Affairs and explaining:
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing on Thursday, July 19 titled “Unfair Trading Practices Against the U.S.: Intellectual Property Rights Infringement, Property Expropriation, and other Barriers.” Intellectual property theft, expropriation of property and subsidies, and other practices grant foreign goods unfair advantages over U.S. products, and harm the ability of U.S. businesses to compete globally. The Committee will review the negative impact of trade barriers imposed against the U.S and possible solutions to combat them.
What we understand is that multi-national corporations will, from now on, have a very difficult task, that of making copyright laws to encourage businesses, while also respecting your right as an internet user and promote innovation. What are their plans is soon to be seen.