Major Win Against ACTA in the EU

Ars Technica had some details of a new resolution proposed before the European Parliament yesterday. Primarily, it would demand that the core documents in the ACTA negotiations be released and that refuse to consider implementation in member states of any three strikes penalty for copyright infringement. The resolution would be binding against the negotiators representing member states and while it would not scrap ACTA altogether, it would de-fang the most controversial aspects, forcing it to be re-focused on actual counterfeiting (the “C” in the acronym).

On Hacker News, I saw this link to a blog post by Christian Engstrom, the Swedish MEP from the Pirate Party.

The resolution was carried by 633 votes in favour, 13 against, and 16 abstentions.

Epic win! :)

Epic win indeed. Mike Masnick at Techdirt has another nice quote, that the EU Parliament voted so strongly in favor of the resolution because “[ACTA] flouts agreed EU laws on counterfeiting and piracy online.” As he explains, the rejection of ACTA is very deeply rooted, including consideration of the Lisbon Treaty which is supposed to provide for MEPs to access all stages of international negotiations. The way ACTA has been conducted clearly violates this convention.

As Engstrom reminds us, though, there is still much to be done and the possibility that EU commission working on ACTA might still choose to ignore the resolution. In his coverage, Masnick points out that the Parliament may take the negotiators to court if that comes to pass.

Jamie Love has a very broad roundup of coverage if you want still more detail and analysis.

That an almost unanimous parliament agrees with the strongest criticisms of ACTA is a much needed ray of hope. Hopefully, the legislative bodies of more countries, the US in particular, will take a more active interest in these concerns in wake of the excellent work done by New Zealand and now the EU to exert some much needed oversight.

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