Education International
Education International

EC official confirms ACTA will force changes in domestic law

published 28 January 2010 updated 28 January 2010

The EC Commissioner-designate for the internal market, Michel Barnier, has admitted that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will require changes to domestic law.

Previously, officials involved in the ACTA negotiations said the agreement would not require any changes in European laws.

Appearing before the European Parliament in January, Barnier said it was important to change public perception about copyright protection to “balance freedom of information with the right of artists to earn money.” Beyond this, he added, it would be necessary under ACTA to change legislation so creator rights can be more strictly enforced.

ACTA, a new global copyright treaty being negotiated by mainly developed countries, would establish a global institution with a secretariat and with a legally-binding dispute resolution process. Other provisions would grant border guards increased powers to search people and personal property, including laptops and other electronic device.

The deal would also create criminal provisions that would apply not only to the commercial infringement of copyright, but also to infringement for non-financial gain, such as educational, research and personal uses.