Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced last Friday that he had suspended the domestic ratification process for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) treaty.
Supporters of the agreement argue that the adoption of ACTA will ensure an international standard for intellectual property rights. Opponents argue, however, that the treaty will pose a threat to the freedom of speech and expression, particularly on the internet.
Mr Tusk said at a press conference that the ratification process was being suspended because a thorough analysis was needed before the ACTA agreement becomes part of Polish law. He admitted that the level of analysis conducted by Poland so far has not been sufficient.
“Consultations about ACTA were incomplete. I am mad at my co-workers,” Mr Tusk said, adding that he himself had put a lot of effort into ensuring that the question of freedom on the internet would be the subject of constant dialogue.
Mr Tusk stressed that he had studied the documents relating to ACTA very thoroughly, listened to the advice of the Minister of Culture Bogdan Zdrojewski, as well as that of the Minister of Administration and Digitization Micha³ Boni, and ultimately said he shares the opinion of “those who from the start said that the consultations were incomplete.”
Though Mr Tusk said that he did not want Poland to ruin its reputation as a country that fights against intellectual piracy, he said that if the result of future consultations show there is a risk to the privacy of internet users, then he would not rule out rejecting the ACTA agreement altogether.
ACTA has stirred up a significant amount of controversy in Poland. There have been several outdoor demonstrations throughout the country, together with the hacking of a number of government websites in protest against the Polish government’s decision to sign the agreement. Most other EU member states also signed the treaty.
Mr Tusk said the ratification process will not be renewed until the end of 2012.
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