European Parliament votes against ACTA

Today’s Slaw post:

Over the last few years there has been much controversy over the negotiation of the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA. Problems included that it was being negotiated in secret with little information being disclosed, lobby groups were granted unequal access, and the substance of the agreement proposed heavy handed enforcement.

It was signed last October, but apparently needs to be ratified by a certain number of signatories before it comes into effect. And even after that, the substantive provisions of international treaties such as this are not binding on individuals in any country until that country adopts laws that are consistent with the treaty.

Michael Geist reports that, while it is not dead yet:

the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly against the agreement, effectively killing ACTA within the EU. The vote was 478 against, 39 in favour, with 165 abstentions This is a remarkable development that was virtually unthinkable even a year ago. Much credit goes to the thousands of Europeans who spoke out against ACTA and to the Members of the European Parliament who withstood enormous political pressure to vote against the deal.

Remarkable indeed.

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