. Earth Science News .

Netherlands delays ACTA ratification
by Staff Writers
The Hague, Netherlands (UPI) Feb 16, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The Netherlands this week imposed delays on the ratification of the ACTA international anti-piracy agreement, which critics claim threatens Internet freedoms.

Opponents say the draft Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement puts users' privacy at risk while the European Commission contends the measure doesn't change existing data protection laws and is needed to mount a long-term global fight against copyright theft.

Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have already delayed the international trade agreement's ratification process, citing the same privacy concerns highlighted during a wave of anti-ACTA protests throughout Europe last week.

The Netherlands joined that group Tuesday, when the Dutch lower house of Parliament backed a motion from the Green Left party calling on the Netherlands to refrain from signing onto ACTA, Radio Netherlands reported.

Lawmakers demanded more clarity on the privacy implications for Dutch Internet users under the terms of the deal, which unites all 27 EU member nations, the United States, Japan, Canada and others countries in a regime in which Internet service providers are expected to cooperate with rights holders of content such as music and movies.

One of the chief fears of opponents is that ISPs will be forced to hand over private information to rights holders about users who distribute "counterfeit" digital content, without first obtaining a court order -- something they say has the potential to destroy the freedom of Internet.

Dunja Mijatovic, media freedom representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Tuesday urged the European Parliament to reject ACTA, which it is considering for ratification.

"In my role as the OSCE representative on Freedom of the Media, I am mandated to observe media freedom developments in the OSCE participating states and am concerned that the present agreement on ACTA might have a detrimental effect on freedom of expression and a free flow of information in the digital age," Mijatovic said in Vienna.

Her main concern, she said, is that ACTA "would authorize online service providers to disclose personal information of alleged copyright infringers to rights holders without a court order or the right to appeal, placing the decision on the legal status of content outside the established judicial framework."

The European Commission, however, counters that legal obligations of ISPs aren't changing under ACTA.

"ACTA will not change the role of (ISPs), as is often claimed," a EU position paper says.

Rather, the agreement complies with the Commission's 2000 E-Commerce Directive, which makes it "impossible" for the government to impose "general obligations for ISPs to monitor the information they transmit."

However, the commission noted a memorandum of understanding was struck between rights holders and ISPs in Brussels last year -- signed by such major Internet companies as Microsoft, eBay, Amazon and rights holders such as the Motion Picture Association.

It calls for prompt action by ISPs to police users and remove infringing material at the request of rights owners.

The memorandum states ISPs "commit to disclose … the identity and contact details of alleged infringers and their user names," but only "insofar as permitted by applicable data protection laws," which may require the obtaining of court orders in some countries.

If that's the case, the ISP retains the right to force the copyright holder to procure court authorization, the agreement states.

Related Links
21st Century Pirates

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Manila gets second U.S. Coast Guard ship
Manila, Philippines (UPI) Feb 16, 2012
The Philippines navy soon will receive its second decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard ship amid concern that the move sends the wrong signal to China. Final U.S. approval for the sale of the USCGC Dallas, a Hamilton class cutter, is under way and the 378 foot-long, 3,250-ton vessel should soon sail for the Philippines. The Dallas was commissioned in 1967 at the Avondale Shipyard in ... read more

Japan to host global meeting on nuclear safety

Fukushima weighs heavy at Berlin film showcase

Fukushima faces increased quake risk - study

Japan's Fukushima reactor may be reheating: operator

Chinese firm in iPad row threatens to sue Apple in US

Apple brings iPad features to the Mac

US iPad owners tend to be older, have money

Malaysian court asked to stop rare earths plant

More water shortages for China?

Serious water shortage hits Luanda

Reform of EU fishing quotas urged

Engage China in water dialogue: Experts

Fish of Antarctica threatened by climate change

Despite Nobel tiff, Oslo backs China Arctic Council entry

NASA Mission Takes Stock of Earth's Melting Land Ice

CU-Boulder study shows global glaciers, ice caps, shedding billions of tons of mass annually

Organic foods may be an unsuspected source of dietary arsenic

Prions play powerful role in the survival and evolution of wild yeast strains

Study simulates effects of foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Mexico

AgriLife research study shows temperatures may change disease resistance in wheat

Aftershocks put N. Zealand quake city rebuild on hold

Fukushima at increased earthquake risk

Millions of flood victims still at risk in Pakistan

Quake hits eastern Japan: nuclear plant stable

Soldier killed in fresh clashes in southern Senegal

Sudanese air strike hits S Sudan, breaking pact: army

Nigeria army kills 12 suspected Islamists in flashpoint city

Inter-ethnic fighting displaces 40,000 in Kenya

Digital technologies reversing extinction of languages

Neanderthal demise due to many influences, including cultural changes

Why the brain is more reluctant to function as we age

Cutting-edge MRI techniques for studying communication within the brain

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement