THE DRACONIAN Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been beaten in the European Parliament and looks likely to be kicked out of Europe entirely.
The secretively drafted treaty had been roundly beaten in Europe already, but this last vote was a crucial one, and one that might never have happened at all.
The so-called European People's Party (EPP) had rather fancied a delay in the vote, and yesterday it suggested that it would abstain rather than vote for or against, and just maybe, just maybe, force the decision on ACTA into the European Court of Justice. Such a move would have delayed the vote and kept ACTA very much alive.
Thanks then to the members of the European Parliament who this afternoon put a bullet into ACTA and then shot it again, just to make sure that it is dead.
First the parliament rejected the EPP's proposal to delay the vote, and then it rejected ACTA as an agreement, by 478 nays to 39 yays. MEP David Martin, who is the kind of rapporteur you want in such circumstances, said that it was the "biggest EVER legislative defeat for [the European] Commission in Parliament."
Unless you were a supporter of ACTA this is very good news indeed. "The European Parliament vote is a triumph of democracy over special interests and shady back-room deals. This is a significant victory for digital rights, and it's thanks to the tireless work of activists and grass roots organisations, including the Pirate Party world wide," said Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye.
"I'm pleased the MEPs have listened to the millions of people who contacted them and came out on the streets to protest against ACTA, instead of being misled by the empty promises of industry lobbyists." µ
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