Alternattiva Demokatika calls for private member’s’ bill on ACTA

Green party says ACTA means people could be prosecuted for merely sharing a link to a newspaper article or posting a video on YouTube.

Protestors in France demonstrate against ACTA.
Protestors in France demonstrate against ACTA.

Alternattiva Demokratika has rebutted a statement by finance minister Tonio Fenech that ACTA will not censor websites, saying the agreement will target internet distribution and prosecute people for sharing news links or posting videos on YouTube.

"The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was created with the aim of establishing international standards on intellectual property rights enforcement, yet will deal with tools targeting internet distribution and information technology, meaning people could be prosecuted for merely sharing a link to a newspaper article or posting a video on YouTube," AD spokesperson for IT and communications Henrik Piski said.

AD invited members of parliament to stand up and be counted on the issue by presenting a private member's bill against ACTA, and appealed to MEPs to reject ACTA in the upcoming vote in June.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson said: "Members of parliament in Malta should present a private members' bill against ACTA.

"We also ask the Maltese members to vote against it in the European parliament in June, as this will be the last chance to reject ACTA. ACTA threatens to have perverse impacts such as infringement of the privacy of individuals and making generic drugs less accessible, all in the name of corporate greed."

ACTA encourages its signatory states to step up cooperation with private actors, like internet providers, for intellectual property enforcement in the absence of any minimum standards for legal procedures. This opens the door to undermining the basic rights of individuals with no protection for those affected.

"ACTA does not differentiate between individuals or large scale infringements as wrongly stated in the media. It will indeed impose on ISPs stronger content control and eventually lead to prosecution of individuals. This is already happening in France with the introduction of Hadopi law last year," Piski said.

"It is absolutely surprising that the government had never engaged any public discussion and consultation about its intention of the signing of the agreement. It clearly indicates that the government is detached of the Internet reality and freedom of expression of its constituents."

The Green Party announced its participation in the anti-ACTA protest which will be held in the coming days. AD confirmed its support of the Malta Anti-ACTA Group (MAAG).

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I expect the P L to state categorically that this legislation wikk be consigned to the wastepaper basket, if it gets elected. It takes some cheek for the P N MEP's to vote in favour, when their PM is a dimissionario.

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