The European Parliament voted on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) today, with an overwhelming number of voters opting to reject the treaty. This follows opposition from several European Parliament committees at the end of May this year and protests from several European countries.
The treaty was signed by 22 of the 27 European Parliament member states but the vote means that the signing countries will be unable to ratify the treaty, thereby keeping it out of EU laws. The treaty can still be ratified into law by non-EU states but the loss of Europe means that the treaty’s effectiveness has been greatly reduced.
As we detailed previously, ACTA is designed to enforce international standards for policing copyright infringement, encompassing action against counterfeit goods and medicines under its banner. However opponents to the treaty have claimed that it oversteps its aims and poses a threat to freedom on the internet.
There have been hints that EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht intends to reintroduce the ACTA treaty will be put before the European Parliament again in 2015, so it may not be over yet.