Dutch Parliament To Reject ACTA And Its Lookalikes

Max ‘Beast from the East’ Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope.

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Motion D66 tells the government to scrap the controversial agreement

Following the institution of the Net Neutrality law earlier this month, the Dutch parliament has issued a motion to the state cabinet to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), saying it would erode the freedom of the Internet.

The House of Representatives has also passed a motion that would see any similar Internet regulation treaties or laws automatically rejected.

However, the Dutch Pirate Party suggested that this might be nothing more than politicians trying to score some points ahead of upcoming elections.

“Too little too late”

Earlier this month, the Netherlands became the first European country to pass net neutrality legislation that prevents service providers from blocking or throttling services that run over their networks.

This week, a motion named D66 was passed in the House, stating that ACTA leaves ample room for “unintended interpretations, with negative effects on privacy and Internet freedom”, and as such, should be rejected.

In a separate motion, D66 also requested the Government vote against any comparable treaties. “Strict enforcement of intellectual property on the Internet is no solution for the ongoing difficulties regarding copyright law and interferes with Internet freedom,” said MP Kees Verhoeven in a statement.

The International Trade Committee will vote on ACTA on the 20 and 21 June, to determine the formal recommendation to the European Parliament. The Parliament itself is expected to vote on the legislation on 2 July. If it passes the vote, the agreement will then come into force across the EU. If rejected, ACTA will be scrapped entirely.

The UK Pirate Party will be staging anti-ACTA protests on the 9 June, with its leader Loz Kaye joining the activists in London.

“Whilst many have been saying that ACTA is now dead in the water, there is a very real danger that rather than dropping it outright, they will ask for it to be ‘reconsidered’ or amended. With something as toxic as ACTA it will be difficult to do anything to fix it without still causing unintended damage,” commented Harley Faggetter, the Pirate Party UK secretary.

Update: the European Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE), has just become the third consulting organisation (along with The Committee on Legal Affairs and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy) to vote against the agreement with a large majority.

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