Brussels, 21 April 2010 - The negotiation parties of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) published the documents of the 8th round of negotiations held in Wellington on 12-16 April. The European Commission welcomes the decision to make the draft available to the public. This text shows that the overall objective of ACTA is to address large-scale infringements of intellectual property rights which have a significant economic impact. ACTA will by no means lead to a limitation of civil liberties or to "harassment" of consumers.
"I am very glad that the EU convinced its partners to release the negotiation text", said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. "The text makes clear what ACTA is really about: it will provide our industry and creators with better protection in overseas markets which is essential for business to thrive. It will not have a negative impact on European citizens."
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement will be fully in line with current EU legislation. This means that it is limited to the enforcement of intellectual property rights. The agreement will not include provisions which modify substantive intellectual property law, create new rights or change their duration. It will set minimum rules on how innovators and creators can enforce their rights in courts, at boarders or over the internet.
The negotiation draft shows that specific concerns, raised in particular by the civil society, are unfounded. No party in the ACTA negotiation is proposing that governments should introduce a compulsory "3 strikes " or "gradual response" rule to fight copyright infringements and internet piracy. Similarly, ACTA will not hamper access to generic medicines.