EU Parliament votes down international anti-piracy treaty
For campaigners against restrictions on the Internet, the EU Parliament's rejection was the latest in a series of political victories, after the U.S. Congress last winter abandoned proposed U.S. laws aimed at curbing the unauthorized sharing of music, movies and other digital media.
The New York Times
PARIS — European legislators Wednesday rejected an international treaty to crack down on digital piracy, a vote that Internet freedom groups hailed as a victory for democracy but that media companies lamented as a setback for the creative industries.
Foes of the treaty said the vote, by an overwhelming margin in the European Parliament at Strasbourg, would probably end the prospects of European involvement in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, which has been signed by the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, South Korea and a number of individual EU members.
For campaigners against restrictions on the Internet, it was the latest in a series of political victories, after the U.S. Congress last winter abandoned proposed U.S. laws aimed at curbing the unauthorized sharing of music, movies and other digital media. Treaty opponents had rallied tens of thousands of protesters to the streets of European capitals last winter, dangling the threat that approval of the pact would lead to the proliferation of anti-piracy measures.
After the vote, some members of the Parliament stood up in the chamber, displaying placards reading "Hello democracy, goodbye ACTA."
Groups representing movie studios, publishers, and record labels bemoaned the outcome, saying protesters had twisted the debate to make the treaty seem more menacing than it was. The vote, they added, would hurt efforts to reduce online copyright theft, potentially costing Europe jobs at a time when it desperately needs them.