EU follows Mexico—While a copyright rationalization is needed, the act is simply a giveaway to favored interests. Libertarian groups have mounted a sustained polemics against ACTA and lookalike legislation…also LI teams in many countries report they’ve been focusing on coalition e-mails and mass petitions, targeting middle of road legislators for info on ACTA contents, Liberal and quasi-libertarian ‘pirate’ parties and groups…
ACTA has received a knockout blow from the European Parliament as the majority of MEPs voted in favor of rejecting the controversial trade agreement, which critics say would protect copyright at the expense of freedom of speech on the Internet.
MEPs voted overwhelmingly against ACTA, with 478 votes against and only 39 in favor of it. There were 146 abstentions.
“In am proud to say that the highly controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will not come into force in the European Union,” the Treaty’s rapporteur in the European Parliament, David Martin MEP, wrote on his blog after the session.
Martin recommended that Parliament reject the treaty as it would not effectively tackle online piracy.
The anti-ACTA mood was strong among MEPs during the session, with some members holding banners reading “Hello democracy. Goodbye ACTA”.
The ACTA-killing vote came despite an attempt by supporters of the treaty to postpone the crucial vote at the Parliamentary plenary session on Wednesday. However, as Martin writes, MEPs “were able to build a strong majority and defeated the call for a postponement.”
“This is a historic day in terms of European politics,” he wrote. The European Parliament vote means that 22 European member states cannot ratify ACTA into their local sovereign law.
Earlier all five parliament committees reviewing ACTA voted in favor of rejecting the international treaty.
The European Parliament was supported by 2.8 million European citizens around the globe who signed a petition calling for MEPs to reject the agreement. Thousands of EU citizens lobbied for blocking ACTA in street demonstrations, e-mails to MEPs and calls to their offices.