It is now official: the European Parliament has today rejected the draconian Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in a plenary session.
Digital Journal reported recently that the International Trade Committee of EU Parliament had rejected ACTA.
ACTA was widely criticized over its likely assault on Internet freedoms and there have been many protests against the treaty, which would require signatory states to impose draconian restrictions on online privacy, in a drive to eradicate content piracy and the sale of counterfeit branded goods through the Internet.
While supporters of the controversial treaty suggested postponing the crucial vote at the Parliament plenary session today, Members of Parliament decided not to delay the decision.
With 478 votes against, 165 abstentions and a mere 39 in favour, MEP's have now voted overwhelmingly against ACTA.
During the session, many members of parliament wore anti-ACTA t-shirts or held anti-ACTA banners, which can be viewed here.
All five parliament committees that were involved in reviewing ACTA have voted to reject the international treaty.
The treaty was originally negotiated by the EU and its member states, together with Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and the U.S. However, today's vote means that no individual member states can now join the agreement and effectively, ACTA is dead.
After the vote, rapporteur David Martin said, "I am very pleased that Parliament has followed my recommendation to reject ACTA." He reiterated his concern that the treaty is "too vague, open to misinterpretation and could therefore jeopardize citizens' liberties."
He did, however, stress the need to find alternative methods to protect intellectual property in the European Union, as the "raw material of the EU economy."