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ACTA - stop mixing human rights with trade

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Dear Commissionaire de Gucht,

Let's start from an apple. You say: "Stealing is stealing even if the stolen thing is an apple only." This is true. But I want to add few more words on your opinions.

You write: "We are in an economic crisis. If Europe wants to have a successful economy it needs firms that can compete for the tasks that add the highest value to a product. And the way they make money and create jobs from those ideas is by turning them into intellectual property, protecting them under the law and ensuring the law is enforced. "

The economic crisis is certainly a problem but can we really agree that the solution is so simple?Don't you think that this crisis is caused partly by big commercial entities deciding about far too many things thoughtlessly? People loosing jobs in Europe don't want to trust big companies which claim labour's market protection. These companies say they create jobs and at the same time they buy all they can from the Asian market because the only thing they care about is profit. Don't you think that people need to regain their self-sufficiency which can provided only by the small initiatives' friendly environment and open access to cultural resources given to all citizens?

You write: "My considered view as a lifelong supporter of human rights and fundamental freedoms, is that there is nothing to fear in this agreement. As I have said before, ACTA is not an attack on our liberties, it is a defence of our livelihoods. "

Very strange sentence indeed... On one hand you say that our liberties are fine - on the other hand you use the language of war... And it is certain that in the time of war we must restrict our freedom in order to become soldiers. But before we do so, please, explain, who are we going to fight? Is the economic competition with China a war? Is it necessary? Cannot we find a way to cooperate? Has it been ever discussed and voted?

In the region I come from many children cannot afford access to books, films and programs. They cannot grow skills similar to richer children and they are excluded from the fair competition in the labour market. These who pirate something are called thieves. Rolling in hundreds of thousands Euros and knowing it do you really feel comfortable calling yourself "a lifelong supporter of human rights and fundamental freedoms"?

You write: "What is legal today in the European Union, will remain legal tomorrow once ACTA is ratified. And what is illegal today will remain illegal tomorrow. "

If we do not need any new legislation why shall we maintain so big legislative bodies? 100 years ago it was illegal for a woman to vote and she was not allowed to study at universities. Today this state of a matter is unthinkable. Social evolution goes on everyday and you cannot claim that all is regulated in the already established law.

The question about whether ACTA complies with European law has replaced the most important question which is: whether ACTA is right or wrong. It is said that ACTA does not change anything in European law. The point is that this law needs to be changed. We cannot deny that we live in a new age with new threats and new opportunities. This new reality puts so many challenges before us, so we cannot remain with the solutions elaborated before the digital age. ACTA disregards this.

And in the end: "This is why the European Commission referred ACTA to the European Court of Justice. Because those rights and freedoms need to be interpreted correctly. "

Dear Commissionaire! Freedom is not a thing which needs to be interpreted. If a big number of people feel and express their freedom being violated you should listen and respect it. So in the end I have a small request: please, focus! The mixture of trade and human rights does not seem to give good results.

The Kindest Regards,

dr Magda Zena Sadurska (a social scientist)

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