EU Parliament votes 663-13 against ACTA's enforcement measures

The European Parliament resoundingly voted against the secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), in a resounding 663 to 13 tally. The parliamentarians defied the EU executive and threatened to take the issue to the European Court of Justice if the EU doesn't reject ACTA's provisions on disconnection for infringement and other enforcement provisions.
A strong majority of MEPs (663 against and 13 in favour) today voted against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), arguing that it flouts agreed EU laws on counterfeiting and piracy online.

In addition, the Parliament's decision today states that MEPs will go to the Court of Justice if the EU does not reject ACTA rules, including cutting off users from the Internet "gradually" if caught stealing content.

Though MEPs cannot participate in the ACTA talks, without the consent of the European Parliament, EU negotiators will have to go back to the drawing board and come up with a compromise.

Parliament threatens court action on anti-piracy treaty



  1. Dang!
    Cory posted the link just seconds after I submitted my “Suggest a Link” for this, so I have to add my
    “Way to Go! It’s about time they EU Parliament grew a pair!”

    Maybe democracy still has a chance.

  2. This is great news! It seems the campaigns against the three strike proposition had some effect. This result was not obvious – the general press mostly ignored the problem, or presented the ACTA-related initiatives as a just war against piracy. The MEPs must have done their homework to research what’s behind the proposal. Bravo!

  3. Does anyone know what they actually voted for? I was surprised to see they were voting on ACTA since of course that’s still a secret, and it turns out they were voting on an agreed text resulting from a debate on a question about the secrecy:

    There were 6 texts to vote on, (RC-B7-0154/2010, B7-0154/2010, B7-0158/2010, B7-0173/2010, B7-0179/2010, B7-0180/2010), I presume its the 1st, 2nd, or 4th they agreed to since those are the versions with the court threat. But neither the article above nor the parliament website are getting me any closer to knowing /which/.

  4. The petition with 31 signatures is a written petition for European Members of Parliament, that must be physically and personally signed. So 31 in a day or two isn’t bad. If more than half sign it within the next three months it will become the official position of the European Parliament.

    I just checked and my personal MEP of choice, Emine Bozkurt, has already signed. I’ll be mailing her promptly to thank her.

    Link to the campaign pages here:

  5. That almost sounds like something a functional political system might produce. (over there in Europe)

    I kind-of wonder what that must be like. (back here in the U.S.)

  6. Now, I’d hate to contradict the upbeat tone of this article, but the situation is actually better than you’ve described it. See “In addition, however, and widely unnoticed, a last-minute oral amendment from the conservative EPP group was also adopted. This amendment calls for “the Commission to continue the negotiations on ACTA and limit them to the existing European IPR enforcement system against counterfeiting”.”

  7. Does this mean the EU is pulling out of ACTA? Does this mean ACTA is dead? What is the significance of this?

  8. I notice that articles on ACTA often don’t mention that quite innocuous things would be counted as “piracy”.

    An example would be posting your cute new baby pictures on MySpace and then posting them anywhere else. Since MySpace and many other sites claim ownership of any content posted on them, this is the sort of unexpected thing that would be counted as “piracy” in most cases.

    Another example would be posting a picture that has a Ford car in it. Ford has gone after people for this sort of thing.

    Also, since there is no fact checking of these things, some stalker or troll could simply file a bogus claim against someone they didn’t like.

    You’ve got to love that lack of oversight or judicial review (also not mentioned).

  9. This brought a tear to my eye. There’s now a reason to be cautiously optimistic about democracy prevailing in this world where big business all too easily write the laws that enslave us and kill off innovation.

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