Round table on the ACTA agreement (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement); Human Right House in Zagreb, 20th of February 2012

The representative of the CRP Sisak participated at the round table
organized by the Human Rights House in its premises on 20th of February
2012. The speakers at the round-table were: Marko Rakar – IT expert and
activist, Tomislav Medak – Coordinator from the Multimedia Institute,
Domagoj Bebić – Faculty of Political Science & Institute for New Media
and e-democracy, Stribor Kikerec – Ministry of Foreign and European
Affairs, and Sanja Sarnavka – representative of the organizer as well as
moderator of the round-table.
ACTA, the trade agreement that initiated global attention and protests
around the world, has been explained here in general. The discussion has
developed after speakers explained basics of the agreement and after they
have expressed their opinion about possible consequences caused by the
application of the same agreement. The public is worried and the main
question is whether the application of this agreement would establish
the basis for international fight against piracy, or actually behind it all
there is a clear intention to establish full control over, so far, the
most democratic of all media of communication.
The negotiations and the creation of ACTA were arranged in secret,
without a broad public debate, and many countries and governments stood
up against this unilateral act so far and refused to signed it. The
act, if examined in depth, is made in an exclusive manner, even repressive, which might lead (if
implemented in this or similar form) to establishing of precedent for
action in the global anti-counterfeiting and/or fight against opponents.
ACTA thus undermines international legal documents and standards, and the
implementation of such an agreement could lead to restriction of human
rights; through bypassing legal mechanisms and institutions around the
world. One of the conclusions of this round-table is that a huge public
debate on issues related to Internet freedom is required and it should be based on various aspects. There is no official position toward
ACTA in the Croatian government. It was also concluded that many of the
mechanisms for the protection of intellectual property rights listed in
ACTA we already have in our laws and related regulations. Therefore,
protection of intellectual property rights could be improved
through the consistent application of existing legal norms. Finally,
once again the exceptional importance of the
discussion in such a complex issue – the application of ACTA has been highlighted.
The round table informed on existing precedent decision in the EU.
It protects the right to privacy with respect to the right to
protection of intellectual property.
Round Table was closed by this: “To facilitate access to protected
content and not to restrict access to it would be of significant help”!

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