ACTA suffers overwhelming defeat in European Parliament

By on July 4, 2012, 10:30 AM

The European Parliament has defeated the international Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement, also known as ACTA, with a decisive 478 votes against the controversial treaty versus just 39 in favor and 165 abstentions. While 22 of the 27 European member states had already signed up to ACTA, the vote blocks the treaty from taking effect in those states, and will likely hurt its adoption around the world.

Supporters of ACTA argue that the treaty is needed to create international standards that protect those who produce music, movies, pharmaceuticals, fashion goods and other products against piracy and intellectual property theft globally. Opponents say it would hurt free access to information.

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 published a piece that separates the 'dubious' claims from the facts in February.

The agreement wasn’t expected to make any substantial changes to US or European law. However, once ratified, ACTA could be used by Western governments to convince or even strong-arm poorer countries into adopting stronger copyright protection and enforcement laws.

Countries including the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea have signed the trade agreement, and the EU vote won't affect them, though no one has ratified it yet.

A spokesman for the European Commission said ACTA may have another shot in Europe after the European Court of Justice weighs in on whether the agreement violates fundamental EU rights. But the overwhelming vote would seem to indicate that the agreement has no chance to be approved.

Image credit: European Union 2012 - European Parliament




User Comments: 10

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Thats how us Europeans role!

Guest said:

Wow! The European's are spot on with this! Way to go Europe!

Guest said:

**APPLAUSE**

Guest said:

Nice Move !

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wow, the EU parliament does something worthwhile for once.

Mantrhax Mantrhax said:

Time is passing ,young people are geting important places in politician, soon, all these companies that use the system against the people, will surfer a major setback....just a warning whats is coming to you.

The time to stop is now ! ACTA is dead, soon u will be too !

Guest said:

Speaking with lead negotiators of ACTA from the Department of Foregn Affairs and Trade, we met with boastful unelected staff who were proud of the almost air-tight secrecy and held a disgusting lack of enthusiasm or even initiative to conduct any kind social or economic impact study to protect the hard working citizens and families of this nation. These are the same people negotiating the TPP on behalf of Australians and I think we need to be vigilant and ruthless with our ongoing campaign for transparency and accountability on these rogue departments of unelected representative's holding our country to the ransom of international corporate interests.

David W. Campbell

President

Pirate Party Australia

Coodu Coodu said:

Go Europe, fighting for gamers too!

DanUK DanUK said:

Thats how us Europeans role!

+1, great news.

MilwaukeeMike said:

"The agreement wasn?t expected to make any substantial changes to US or European law. However, once ratified, ACTA could be used by Western governments to convince or even strong-arm poorer countries into adopting stronger copyright protection and enforcement laws."

So it wasn't going to affect people in the US or Europe, it was only going to make it easier for them to stop poor countries from making fake stuff and stealing. Strange they voted it down. I guess those makers of fake Prada have more pull than we all thought.

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