ACTA faces another setback in Europe as Germany delays signing

By on February 10, 2012, 6:30 PM

The controversial ACTA agreement is facing a new setback in Europe after the German government announced today that it won't sign the agreement, at least not for now. Other nations including Latvia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have also backed out in recent days, but as Europe's biggest economy if Germany decides to withdraw its support of ACTA the move could spell trouble for the international agreement.

Details are scarce at this point but according to reports, the German justice ministry voiced its concerns about ACTA, while a foreign ministry spokesperson said that the country needed "time to carry out further discussions" about the treaty. The public outcry against ACTA may have factored into Germany's decision as well. More than 50 protests are scheduled to take place across the country on Saturday, according to BBC.

While 22 of the 27 European member states have signed up to ACTA, the agreement has to pass through the European Parliament in June before it can be brought into force in Europe. The U.S. signed it in October 2011, and other major economies like Australia, Canada, South Korea and Japan followed suit.

Proponents of ACTA say that the treaty will help fight global copyright theft in a number of industries. Opponents, however, argue that ACTA will harm free speech on the Internet.

There's been a lot of misguided information going around about exactly what ACTA entails, due in large part because it was negotiated in extreme secrecy by a small group of wealthy nations. To shed some light on the matter, Ars Technica recently published a piece that separates the 'dubious' claims from the facts.

Also worth reading is a Wall Street Journal interview with Kader Arif, the European Parliament’s rapporteur who publicly resigned last month in protest to the way that the signing of the agreement was handled.

User Comments: 8

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Respect to all those who didn't agreed with ACTA

Guest said:

Just another law that no one will give a **** about it.

Guest said:

You don't rule the internet, at least in Soviet Russia the internet rules you :))

Gars Gars said:

here is some pictures from today's protest in Sofia, Bulgaria


inventix1136 said:

I respect to all the countries that don't agree with ACTA.

As for the good ol' USA, what gives the administration the right to negotiate this far reaching agreement in SECRET? This has nothing to do with national security but everything to do with hiding the politicians who wrote this agreement -- they KNOW that if people knew who were the signers, the signers would be out of office so quickly that the door would not have time to hit them in their proverbial a**...

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Thank you for posting the Ars Technica link Jose.

Its very unfortunate that the people who oppose such acts tend to follow the path of the end justifying the means. All this legislation is bad enough as it actually is written, both from an effect standpoint, and a precedent setting standpoint.

But if you use essentially lies or incorrect information to stir up the public against the gov't, all the gov't has to do is prove that the claims of the opposition are full of lies or inaccuracies, and so they can much more easily sway the uninformed masses against the opposition.

Guest said:

ACTA faces some SERIOUS problems in Estonia aswell. The words of priminister caused a massive outrage and protests. It is very likly that ACTA will not pass Estonia and hence european union can not pass it as well. If even one memember refuses to sign an international contract the entire union is banned from it.

Stupido Stupido said:

Gars said:

here is some pictures from today's protest in Sofia, Bulgaria



Greetings to all who protested against ACTA

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.