MEPs vote no to controversial treaty
The European Parliament has voted against the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) effectively ending the prospect of this controversial treaty ever becoming law in the European Union.
The vote was 478 MEPs against implementing ACTA, with 39 for and 165 abstentions. The ‘no' vote showed the measure of alarm this treaty, much of which has been discussed in secret, has generated since it was first discussed by the US and Japan in 2006, ostensibly to curb copyright and intellectual property infringement.
UK MEP David Martin who was the rapporteur said: "I am very pleased that Parliament has followed my recommendation to reject ACTA."
He also reiterated his concerns that the treaty is too vague, open to misinterpretation and could therefore jeopardise citizens' liberties.
The vote against ACTA now means that it can't be implemented within the EU and member states cannot join individually.That is unless the European Commission tries to revive it. A world-wide petition from 2.8 million people means that if the EC does serious changes made in pubic need to be made.
Jim Killock, of the Open Rights Group, called the result "a tremendous victory for the movement, for democracy and for every European citizen that has demanded that their rights be respected. ACTA must be abandoned. The Commission must drop its calls to try again."
At one point it seemed as if the EU would sign up to ACTA when in January this year 22 member states, including the UK, signed up to the treaty.
At the time, the rapporteur Kader Arif, resigned over this and criticised officials for "never-before-seen manoeuvres" adding he would "will not take part in this masquerade."
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