EU sends strongest signal yet to reject ACTA

EU sends strongest signal yet to reject ACTA

Summary: Three E.U. committees, ahead of a wider vote during the July plenary session, have voted to reject the controversial ACTA trade agreement.


ACTA, the controversial anti-piracy agreement, has been overwhelmingly rejected by members of the European Parliament ahead of a wider vote.

Three committees were set to each vote on the proposals that would harmonise anti-counterfeit and anti-piracy measures around the E.U. and other signing countries, including the United States.

It follows the treaty's rapporteur David Martin MEP warning fellow parliamentarians not to pass the agreement in Europe's 27 member states.

The Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) all voted bar one against the agreement. The Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) voted by a narrow majority to reject the agreement. The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) also voted against by a majority.

It sends the strongest signal yet that European politicians are ready to veto the treaty.

A fourth group of European parliamentarians, the Committee on International Trade (INTA) will vote on June 21. INTA's stance will be interesting. Historically, the committee's opinion is highly influential though not binding, the EFF says, and could shape the outcome of the final vote.

It will be the final vote before it is accepted or rejected in the upcoming plenary session in July.

In 2010, the European Parliament voted not to pass ACTA if it included a three-strike rule; measures which would force persistent file-sharers and copyright infringers off the web after three warnings. Though U.S. rights holders backed the measures, the U.S. may still enact the three-strike rule. However, European citizens would not be subject to the rule.

22 member states, including the U.K., have already signed the treaty, but it has yet to be ratified by the European Union. Brussels is ultimately given the final say --- much like in many other instances of European law.

If Europe rejects ACTA, the 20 member states will have their signatures erased and will not be able to participate in the treaty, leaving the United States, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Japan, and a few others fighting the battle alone.

Image credit: Gwenaël Piaser/Flickr.


Topic: EU

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  • Media cartels are set for a long battle

    In releases sent to their member companies, both the RIAA and MPAA have touted their increased funding in 2012 and 2013 for lobbyists and lawyers to wage war on the Internet. In one of the RIAA releases, they mentioned the difficulties facing ACTA, but also said that there were more than 400 other pieces of proposed legislation in the works across North American and Europe aimed at everything from banning "open" file-sharing services like Rapidshare to criminalizing hand-to-hand lending of CDs and DVDs.

    Most of these never make it into the light of day, but it doesn't stop the lobbyists from trying to sneak them through on an unsuspecting and ill-informed public.
    terry flores
    • Looks like we need to spend a little more time...

      ...finding out what our lobbyists are are "petitioning" our politicians to do and letting our politicians know how we feel about it. It might even be seen as a civic duty.

      It's true that lobbyists and large campaign contributors have way too much power, but that power on any given issue will be inversely proportional to the amount of public attention it gets and how much average citizens care about it.

      Eternal vigilance...
      John L. Ries
    • RE: In releases sent to their member companies...

      Too bad those releases could not become common knowledge, and fodder for an all assault on the MAFIAA.
  • for all their ills the EU comes down on the side of

    liberty and privacy for its citizens. I wish US would take some cues from the 'old world'.
    The Linux Geek
  • The funny thing is...

    ...if President Obama were to have submitted ACTA to the Senate as a treaty (as he should have done), instead of treating it as an executive agreement, the Senators would probably have felt compelled to reject it as well (too much adverse publicity).
    John L. Ries
  • Good for them

    I guess the European politicians haven't been bought off by the MPAA.. yet.
  • No to ACTA, Controversial Anti-piracy Agreement

    We will vote our heart out in America. No to ACTA.