ACTA gets shot down in flames at the European Parliament

/ 4 years ago

Today in the European Parliament the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was comprehensively destroyed with 478 votes against and just 39 for. The agreement which threatened global internet freedoms faced substantial amounts of public resistance and outcry before inevitably falling from a somewhat tarnished grace.

Awareness of attempts to censor the internet were first raised by SOPA in January. SOPA faced large resistance in the USA and it was eventually shot down, the American public stated it would not stand for the greed of American media corporations. The anger and activism from SOPA carried over quite comfortably to ACTA, since many of the global community were already against SOPA it was now easy for Europeans to move their focus to something closer to home.

With ACTA in Europe now impossible, it seems the agreement will probably fizzle out all across the world too. There are only a handful of countries left where ACTA could become a possibility. Ten states are still negotiating it and six states have yet to ratify it. Yet the important message is that without European support ACTA cannot be viable given Europe’s prominent position in the world.

Copyright legislation never sleeps. The European Commissioner responsible for the treaty, Karel de Gucht has said that he will continue to present revised versions of ACTA before the European Parliament until it passes. Although it is unlikely he will ever be allowed to do this, it is important that all users of the internet, yes you, remain vigilant of new attempts to censor the internet. Only by public awareness, cooperation and activism can we make sure that censorship does not become a reality.