European Parliament Votes Against ACTA

Posted Jul 4, 2012

The European Parliament decided earlier this week whether ACTA would be rejected or carry on. In a 478-39 vote, the Parliament has rejected ACTA completely. What Is ACTA? Read on below:

ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. It is a multinational treaty that was created for the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property. The end goal was to establish a legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods including generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet.

People that opposed the Agreement said that freedom of expression and privacy would be in jeopardy. They also believed that it would endanger access to medicines in developing countries. The negotiations of the Agreement excluded civil society groups, developing countries, and the general public.

Two of the most active organizations for the development of the treaty included the MPAA and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

One of the biggest reasons for the rejection of ACTA is because of SOPA. When SOPA first popped up in the United States, thousands of websites went dark on January 18th including Google and Wikipedia. Congress was shocked by how much outrage poured out on the Internet. SOPA was killed off.

The European Commissioner that was responsible for the treaty, Karel de Gucht, said that he will ignore rejections and re-table it before the European Parliament until it passes. This makes Gucht look stubborn, yet ambitious. The European Parliament could take this the wrong way and see it as being pesty.