Germany is to hold off signing ACTA, in what is the greatest blow to the controversial worldwide anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy agreement to date.
It is reported that the Germany justice ministry voiced its concerns, and the foreign ministry said the delay would enable the government to "carry out further discussions".
- Read more: How ACTA would affect you: FAQ
ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, has been called a "European SOPA", and would dozens of countries to enforce intellectual property and copyright laws across borders. The U.S. signed it in October 2011, and other major economies like Australia, Canada, South Korea and Japan followed suit.
Worldwide protests have taken place to protest the measures in ACTA, which have been heavily watered down since the proposals were drafted and negotiated in secret and behind closed doors.
A German government spokesperson told sister site ZDNet UK that the government will postpone its decision on whether it should sign the agreement or not until after the European Parliament votes on the treaty in June. It does not mean that the ACTA agreement is off the table just yet, however.
Latvia put off the signing last Friday, and Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have delayed the ratification of the agreement. But Germany's efforts, as one of the largest --- and most stable --- economies in the European Union, will come as a major disruption to the agreement.
While 22 of the 27 European member states have signed up to ACTA, including the United Kingdom, the agreement nevertheless has to pass through the European Parliament before it can be brought into force in Europe.
Image credit: Alberto Novi, ALDE/Flickr.
- How ACTA would affect you: FAQ
- SOPA, PIPA postponed: Nice work, everyone
- France claims ‘three strikes’ piracy law is working
- U.S. ‘threatened to blacklist Spain’ over SOPA-style law
Around the network:
- CNET: Anonymous takes aim over Europe’s SOPA
- ACTA treaty aims to deputize ISPs on copyrights
- Dear President Obama: Get ACTA out in the open
- CBS News: Protests erupt after Poland passes SOPA-like bill
- Poland defends stance on treaty after web attacks
- ZDNet UK: ACTA gets green light from EU Council
- UK signs ACTA as activists urge resistance
- EU to stay away from Acta signing ceremony
- EU promises no law change as full Acta text released
- Wikileaks publishes Acta cables