Luzern, 28th june, 2010 - A new round of negotiations of the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA) is beginning today between 11 negotiating parties -including the EU- in Luzern, Switzerland. All around the world, organizations of concerned citizens, people living with HIV, and academics urge governments to renounce to this illegitimate agreement.
According to the civil servants representing France and EU, negotiations of the ACTA are rushing to reach a final agreement. Tonight, representatives of Act Up - Paris and La Quadrature du Net will be part of a delegation meeting with negotiators. They will let them know once again why ACTA must be stopped.
ACTA will restrict online freedom of speech and privacy. By increasing legal liability of Internet actors (service and access providers), they will be turned into private copyright police, and will have to restrict access, filter the Net or arbitrarily remove online content. ACTA will be a barrier for access to medicine. By preventing the production and the exportation of generic molecules, it will block millions of sick people from access to life-saving drugs, only to preserve the profits of big pharmaceutical labs.
The ACTA agreement is becoming a cocktail of the most repressive European and US legislations about copyright and patents. If finalized, these laws will be frozen and become virtually impossible to change. They will then be exported to the rest of the world through bilateral agreements.
"ACTA would affect the access to treatments worldwide, because it will hinder the access to cheap generic drugs. Without generic drugs, it would never have been possible for 4 millions people to have access to antiretroviral drugs. If concluded, ACTA would be a terrible stepback for millions of people living with HIV worldwide." declares Pauline Londeix, spokesperson for Act Up-Paris.
"ACTA is like a poker game in which our fundamental freedoms would be the chips. The negotiators have no legitimacy to bet away citizen rights and Internet innovation to a few industries. The ACTA casino must be closed." concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.
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