The European Commission, which initially indicated that it would not respond to the posting of the leaked CETA IP chapter, has now responded by saying that the two ACTA provisions involving Internet providers have been dropped from CETA. When asked whether those were the only changes, EU Trade spokesperson John Clancy said there may be other changes but that this was the biggest one.
While the removal of the Internet provider provisions is a good step, the European Parliament’s overwhelming rejection of ACTA was the result of far more than just the Internet provider provisions. Indeed, there has been concern about digital locks, damages, criminal provisions, and border measures. All of those provisions also appeared in the February 2012 CETA draft and Clancy’s response suggest that most, if not all, remain there.
The decision to respond to the CETA concerns is undoubtedly the result of the enormous amount of attention the connection between ACTA and CETA have received in Europe over the past 48 hours. This includes:
- mainstream media organizations such as LeMonde, The Independent (UK), De Volkskrant, and De Zeit
- leading civil society groups such as La Quadrature du Net, Bits of Freedom, and FFII
- online media publishing from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic (1, 2), France (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), Germany (1, 2, 3), Italy, the Netherlands (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Poland (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), Portugal, Romania (1, 2), Russia (1, 2), Slovenia, Spain (1, 2, 3), Sweden, Switzerland (1, 2), and the UK (1, 2)
Add in popular vloggers such as the Philip deFranco Show (over 2 million subscribers) and the heavy traffic tech sites such as Slashdot, TechDirt, and BoingBoing, and it becomes apparent the CETA story has quickly propagated throughout Europe and online.
As with ACTA, leaks and 140 character denials on Twitter are not good enough. The leaked text was clear that the majority of ACTA is being replicated nearly word-for-word in CETA. In light of the Parliament vote and the public concern, Canada and the EU should immediately release the current draft text so that the public can fully analyze and comment on the secret trade deal.