EU bows to public pressure and rejects ACTA

EU bows to public pressure and rejects ACTA
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

July 4th 2012 at 1:40PM

478 MEPS vote against tough anti-piracy treaty

The controversial anti-piracy ACTA proposal has been rejected by the European Union amidst public pressure against the treaty.

As reported by the BBC, several countries chose not to ratify the treaty, with 478 MEPS voting against the proposal whilst only 39 voted in favour.

165 MEP abstained from the vote.

The rejection by the EU is likely to mean the end for the treaty in its current form, although work on ways to prevent piracy will continue.

"Today's rejection does not change the fact that the European Commission has committed itself to seeking answers to the questions raised by the European public," said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.

"The European Commission will continue to seek the legal opinion of the European Court of Justice on whether this agreement harms any of the fundamental rights of European citizens - including freedom of speech.

"European citizens have raised these concerns and now they have the right to receive answers. We must respect that right."

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which had been branded by some as Europe’s SOPA, is a legal understanding between participating nations around the world to protect companies from trademark and copyright infringement.

Rampant illegal online file sharing has plagued the industry for a number of years, with many triple-A titles such as Crysis being shared across the internet.

The ACTA proposal, backed by countries such as the UK, US, Australia and South Korea, had been seen by many however as a form of online censorship.