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article imageEnd for ACTA in Europe as EC withdraws court appeal over treaty

By Anne Sewell     Dec 21, 2012 in Internet
Brussels - It's pretty much the end of the road for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, as least as far as Europe is concerned. ACTA, which would protect copyright over free speech on the Internet, will not feature in the EU.
On July 4, Digital Journal reported that the European Parliament had rejected ACTA.
ACTA was widely criticized over its likely assault on Internet freedoms and there have been many protests throughout Europe 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.
At that time, MEPs roundly rejected the treaty with 478 votes against, and only 39 in favor.
After this in July, the European Commission made an appeal to the EU Court, for further review of its legality.
However, MEP's from the Socialists and Democrats alliance reported after a meeting on Wednesday that the European Commission has withdrawn its request to review ACTA's compatibility with EU law in the European Court of Justice.
This virtually ensures that the controversial treaty will never be adopted in the European Union.
S&D Euro MP David Martin, who is the author of the parliamentary report on ACTA and the rapporteur in charge of the matter, told The Register, "I welcome this news from the Commission today.”
“The EU cannot be party to an agreement without European Parliament ratification. MEPs overwhelmingly rejected ACTA in July and I am pleased that the Commission has acknowledged this is the end of the road for ACTA in the EU thanks to the Parliament," he added.
ACTA was originally intended as a global treaty, which started to be developed in 2007, as a means to target copyright and patent violations in a wide range of industries.
The treaty was originally signed by the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Mexico, South Korea and 22 EU member states. However, of all those countries, only Japan has ratified it so far.
The draconian treaty will only come into force once 5 more countries have ratified and passed the relevant legislation.
More about Europe, Acta, Internet censorship, European commission, European parliament
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