Yesterday, the European Parliament voted down ACTA, sort of the European cousin to SOPA, by an overwhelming majority. With a vote of 478 to 39, detractors of the Anti-Counterfeiting and Terrorism Act waved yellow and black signs reading “Hello Democracy, Goodbye ACTA”.
“In am proud to say that the highly controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will not come into force in the European Union,” the Treaty’s rapporteur in the European Parliament, David Martin MEP, wrote on his blog after the session.
Martin recommended that Parliament reject the treaty as it would not effectively tackle online piracy.
The anti-ACTA mood was strong among MEPs during the session, with some members holding banners reading “Hello democracy. Goodbye ACTA”.
The ACTA-killing vote came despite an attempt by supporters of the treaty to postpone the crucial vote at the Parliamentary plenary session on Wednesday. However, as Martin writes, MEPs “were able to build a strong majority and defeated the call for a postponement.”
“This is a historic day in terms of European politics,” he wrote. The European Parliament vote means that 22 European member states cannot ratify ACTA into their local sovereign law.
Earlier all five parliament committees reviewing ACTA voted in favor of rejecting the international treaty.
The European Parliament was supported by 2.8 million European citizens around the globe who signed a petition calling for MEPs to reject the agreement. Thousands of EU citizens lobbied for blocking ACTA in street demonstrations, e-mails to MEPs and calls to their offices.
“On July 4, Europe celebrates a day of independence from American special interests. Today, we stood up for our most basic rights against corporate giants, and won,” Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Swedish Pirate Party , wrote.
Some of the complaints with ACTA were the same complaints with SOPA in the US, that is that the bill would be a sort of a sledgehammer to try and solve a problem that needs a more surgical approach.
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