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          Europe needs ACTA

          • Brussels, 08 June 2012

          We represent thousands of companies and workers in Europe’s innovative, manufacturing and creative sectors and we believe that Europe needs the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to support economic growth and jobs.

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          Intellectual property is the lifeblood of innovation, creativity and competitiveness. "ACTA is important for the EU to improve cooperation for the protection of creative content including on the Internet across borders, promote sustainable growth and employment in the creative industries. We are very concerned about the current debate at EU level and call on the EU institutions to ensure a measured consideration of the Agreement including a clarification from the European Court of Justice regarding the compatibility of the ACTA with fundamental rights," says Dominick Luquer, General Secretary, International Federation of Actors (FIA).

          "ACTA is a critical step in addressing the global fight against counterfeiting and piracy and has tremendous potential to leverage Europe's ongoing efforts to protect its intellectual property, businesses and jobs from unfair trade in fake and pirated products," says Jeffrey Hardy, Director for ICC's initiative Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP). "It is unfortunate that ACTA has become subject to unfounded speculation and extreme statements about both its goals and its substance. Counterfeiting and piracy - both physical and online - are, by every measure, rampant global problems that in order to be addressed require better international resolve and cooperation. For Europe, this could boost output by tens of billions of Euro and create as many as 400,000 new jobs," he continues.

          "The pervasiveness of counterfeiting and piracy around the world requires a coordinated global approach by governments. ACTA will improve the international framework for fighting counterfeiting and piracy, and the EU plays an important role in this battle. The EU must present a firm and unitedstance against counterfeiting and piracy, and provide support for its knowledge-based economy and innovative SMEs," says Alan C. Drewsen, Executive Director, Interational Trademark Association (INTA).

          "The majority of jobs in our knowledge based societies rely on intellectual property. Piracy including on the Internet is creating a global black market threatening the economic basis of the real jobs in the creative industries. It's a global problem that needs a global response. We need a tool like ACTA to improve international cooperation in IPR protection" says Johannes Studinger, Head of UNI MEI.

          ACTA provides for many safeguards to protect European citizens and its industry as well as fundamental principles such as freedom of expression and privacy. This fact, confirmed by the Legal Service of the European Parliament, is now also awaiting clarification from the Court of Justice of the European Union.

          "ACTA is not at all what its opponents claim it to be. It is instead a reasonable and balanced international agreement that was negotiated in good faith by European Commission and Member State officials in accordance with the mandate given to them. Instead of being praised for ensuring that the agreement is in accordance with the EU acquis and with fundamental rights, they have been widely vilified. The EU's ACTA negotiators very clearly did their best for all EU stakeholders and not just for IP rightsholders," explains Dara MacGreevy, Anti-Piracy Director, Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE).

          We believe in a fair and fact-based debate and call for an honest dialogue between companies, organizations and citizens on the one hand and decision-makers on the other hand ahead of the European Parliament's plenary vote. "Not supporting ACTA would be an enormous own goal by Europe as it would miss the opportunity to defend and promote the great creativity and inventiveness that we are renowned for," says Frances Moore, CEO, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

          The fact that the four opinion-giving parliamentary committees rejected ACTA by only a slim majority clearly demonstrates that further clarification is needed. The European Parliament is under no procedural or institutional obligation to rush its eventual decision. "We understand that all reasonable precautions have been taken to protect fundamental freedoms." Chris Marcich, President and Managing Director, Motion Picture Association (MPA) Europe, adds:"If there are doubts, clarifications and reassurances should be obtained. But the agreement itself should not be rejected prematurely on the basis of false arguments."

          Note to the editor:

          The signatories to the press release are some of the more than 130 trade federations representing sectors employing over 120 million workers in Europe's innovative, manufacturing and creative sectors and that have signed a letter of support for ACTA.

          For more information, please contact:

          Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP),International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

          Alexandra Iliopoulou

          Policy and Legal Adviser

          Phone: +32 489 970 143

          alexandra.iliopoulou@bascap.com

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