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European Parliament strikes down ACTA in significant vote

updated 08:54 pm EDT, Wed July 4, 2012

MEPs vote 478 to 39 against controversial anti-piracy measure

ACTA has been rejected by the European Parliament in a vote today. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was soundly defeated, with 39 parliament members voting for the agreement, 478 against, and 165 abstentions. The move against the motion practically kills the agreement in its current form, with many critics suggesting it cannot be revived no matter how many amendments are made to it.

Twenty-two EU member states had signed the treaty but could not make it law without European Parliament approval. The US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea have also supported ACTA, though the vote results do not affect existing trade agreement in those countries.

Critics have complained about ACTA on multiple points, including the "vagueness" of the bill being seen as overreaching, which led European Parliament rapporteur David Martin to recommend that representatives of EU member states reject the bill, as the advantages in clamping down on piracy would be "far outweighed" by curbs on civil rights. Public protests of the bill have already been staged in many countries.

The secrecy surrounding specific points of ACTA also fueled distrust, leading many to think there would have been further and more widescale public opposition of the bill if they were revealed, especially considering movie and music labels protecting legacy business models were suspected of being behind the trade agreement. [via BBC]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's not over yet

    They'll find another way to gain control. They will call it by a different name, phrase their words a bit differently, but there is no doubt in my mind that governments around the globe are already hard at work to increase their influence. This time they wanted to make us believe it was to fight counterfeiting, next time it's probably something with a bit more oomph, like anti-terror. Always a good excuse to infringe on personal freedom.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: It's not over yet

    Um, they're the government. The fact they were trying to 'pass this law' just means they're probably already doing this as it is, and they're now trying to find a way to say it was done legally.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good thing -

    Legislation is usually a lot slower than software/ecom development, so with any luck there will be some go-round by the time any law goes into effect.

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