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German Minister at Odds Over Anti-Piracy Rules, Passauer Says

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Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is at odds with lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats over the ACTA anti-piracy agreement, the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper said.

The justice mninister, a member of Merkel’s Free Democratic Party coalition partner, seeks clarity from the European Commission on the legal implications of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement before she signs off on the planned international agreement, the newspaper reported.

Lawmakers from Merkel’s party including Guenter Krings and Wolfgang Bosbach, the chairman of parliament’s all-party interior-affairs committee, support the aims of ACTA, the newspaper said. Krings said he seeks a “clear declaration” of support from Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger for ACTA, it said.

New anti-counterfeiting and copywrite rules are necessary, Merkel’s chief spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter yesterday. “Illegal copying, patent infringements and counterfeiting causes billions in damages every year,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Parkin in Berlin at bparkin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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