Well, Happy Independence Day; and Europe can also have part of the party. The European Parliament has rejected ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Parliament voted 478 to 39 to reject the ACTA treaty, with 165 abstention (which is still not enough to reverse the decision), totaling to 682 votes.
Open Rights Group correspondent Jim Killock said that
“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. Without this opposition, our representatives would have waved this agreement through. It is now clear that it is becoming increasingly politically poisonous to be ‘anti Internet.’”
The news of the rejection of ACTA comes after many Europeans written to their representatives telling that they are against ACTA and many protests against ACTA. Also the European Union trade committee, INTA, also voted to rejected ACTA three weeks later, sending the strongest signal yet to the European Parliament to reject the treaty. If the measure were to be passed, stronger fines, and criminalization for copyright infringement and counterfeiting, which includes people who bypass DRM and similar measures.
As of right now, 22 out of 27 European member states has signed the treaty including the UK and Germany. Though ACTA is dead, reports show that the EU commissioner responsible for ACTA said…
“If you decide for a negative vote before the European Court rules, let me tell you that the Commission will nonetheless continue to pursue the current procedure before the Court, as we are entitled to do. A negative vote will not stop the proceedings before the Court of Justice.”
Although there may be plans for more fights with ACTA, lets just celebrate for the European’s Independence Day, the fight against ACTA.