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Labour MEPs say they were consistently against negotiated version of ACTA
ACTA impinges upon civil liberties, Labour says.
30 January 2012, 12:00am
Labour said the negotiated version of ACTA impinged upon fundamental liberties, and the Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament, together with the Liberal Democrats and the European Greens, had moved a resolution to protect ctizens' interests with amendments to ACTA.
The European People's Party, including Nationalist MEPs Simon Busuttil and David Casa, had voted against the resolution.
"This resolution states that there is serious concern and demands that the non-transparent negotiations are stopped," Labour said in a statement.
The international agreement, devised by the United States and Japan and negotiated in secret with major industries, seeks to create an unelected international body to enforce intellectual property rights: most controversially by forcing internet service providers to police online content and impose criminal sanctions on copyright infringers.
Another serious aspect is to reinforce the international patent regime (TRIPS) for medicines, and stop pharmaceutical firms from creating generic drugs - genuine copies of medicinal - once the patents of the original medicines expire.
Over 500 users on the 'Malta is against ACTA' Facebook were surprised to find out Thursday that the Maltese government had signed the treaty, without even announcing it officially.
The EU Council adopted the instrument in December.
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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