Brussels – The Computer & Communications Industry Association has sent letters about the intellectual property provisions in upcoming free trade agreements and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to the president of the European Parliament, committee chairs and members of the European Commission today.

The letter notes that the information and communications industries support free trade agreements, but they are deeply concerned about ensuring these trade agreements support a balance between the protection of IP rights and the liability limitations of Internet Service Providers. The letter warns that failing to include protections against overly broad liability, would result in the ISPs implementing Internet user policies that could threaten some of Europe’s core values such as free expression and privacy protections.

The following comments can be attributed to EU Member of Parliament, Erika Mann, who is now CCIA Executive Vice President and head of the Brussels office:

“When these agreements use overly broad language about aiding and abetting IP infringement, they may unintentionally make ISPs liable for Internet users’ conduct and communications and deter innovation. This problem is exacerbated because the treaties so far lack appropriate ISP liability limitations or related copyright limitations and exceptions.

“We’re asking that the Korea FTA be fully amended to reflect the EU framework for liability limitations for ISPs. As for ACTA, we remain concerned about the secrecy due to the broad business and public interests that could be affected and we continue to believe a conventional legislative process would be a better tool to set new international IP enforcement standards — rather than attempting to do this as a trade agreement.”

 

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