Here's an image that is destined to be truly iconic: Members of the European Parliament vote down ACTA in dramatic fashion, hefting signs that read HELLO DEMOCRACY, GOODBYE ACTA.

(Thanks, Rene!)


      1.  No – and I will defend my right to be wrong with the shield of ignorance and the sword of English apathy…

  1. Wait, what happens now? With respect to that threat to ram it through anyway regardless of which way parliament came down on the issue.

    1. Technically, the Commission and the Council can keep proposing it to the Parliament over and over until it passes; however, this is unlikely: the text cannot be changed, and trying to push it again and again would basically be an act of contempt. It would trigger one of those constitutional challenges the Parliament relinquishes and the Commission would rather avoid (for fear of losing their superior but largely undefined powers). Indeed, those veiled threats were like a red drape to a sleepy bull, and without them MEPs would not probably have rejected it in such large numbers. Remember what happened with three strikes: the Commission pushed and pushed to make it a standard practice, and the Parliament reacted by basically banning it altogether.

      The treaty needs another 6 nations to ratify it before it becomes binding. I bet the usual moneyed interests will try to find 6 corrupt governments,so that they can turn around and tell everyone else that it’s done and “deal with it”. However, this could probably be challenged in EU courts, and since EU law takes precedence, EU countries are likely to just ignore it from now on. It’s politically radioactive anyway.
      Today is a good day in Europe.

    2. Seeing as the Parliament has framed this as a democracy vs. ACTA situation, ramming it through is going to be seen as very anti-democratic, and could easily fuck up a lot of shit on so many levels.

      I don’t think it’d shatter the EU over only ACTA, but in a worst-case scenario, this combined with the financial crisis could see the Eurozone dissolve before the dust settles.

  2. That lady in the middle with the horned glasses and the angry look must be the one who voted “yes”.

  3. Don’t get me wrong, getting rid of ACTA is a good thing and all, but we sure have a tendency to make every thing into what enables democracy and makes it all good.

    We are so incredibly far away from that.

    More idiotic laws are going to be passed. More idiotic laws are already in place. The governing systems in place are based upon 1700s procedures, and in concert with bastardized economical systems we are prone to be governed more by lobbyists and economical interests rather than actual representatives.
    Just look at the Lissabon treaty, some god damn democracy there huh – and we just take it in the rear and smile.

    1. we just take it in the rear and smile.

      So I take it (pun intended) that you’re not a backdoor betty?

  4. I am really concerned that the scumbags trying to make ACTA  the Law of the World will, after being shot down enough, simply resort to outright blackmail of the legislators who won’t bend a knee to them.

    I can just hear their argument, too – Shoving a laptop with surveillance video of the selected legislator skulking out of a gay bath house or XXX theater in their faces, while calming claiming “See, senator / representative / MP / Grand Water Buffalo – THIS is why the internet needs to be regulated: Before somebody ELSE obtains video like this and uses it to threat – *ahem*, COERCE you. See how something like this poses a threat to YOUR constitutional right to privacy ? Just sign here…”

    1. In Europe, nobody cares if you’re a legislator skulking out of a gay bath house or XXX theater. I live in a european capital with an openly gay mayor and I voted for him! Politician’s private lives are not that interesting. Sure, there’ll always be trash talk, but that doesn’t disturb their political lives.

      You could blackmail them, if they were being bribed by the industry, but you wouldn’t need to, because they were being bribed by the industry!

      1. It’s kinda funny (as in worrying) that in the US a politician’s private life is a bigger deal than whether he’s being bribed by the industry.

        1. That’s because his or her private life and the party they belong to is probably the main reason they get voted in, rather than their experience, skills, education, intelligence etc. Oh I forgot, for some reason they also do well if they at least pay lip-service to being some form of Protestant Christian (or perhaps a Mormon now), even though a large percentage of the population is not religious themselves.

      2. Well, it depends. In Italy (and Poland, and Ireland, and Spain to a degree), being chummy to Catholic hierarchies is still a de-facto requirement to get (and stay) in power. Even the almighty empire of Silvio Berlusconi started to crumble when his orgies became public, forcing the Vatican to retract their open support for him. Any Italian politician with some ambition will declare himself to be Catholic — even the most famous gay MPs are strong Catholics! Also, being gay is still a big deal over there.

        So yeah, in many countries, blackmail over personal vices is still possible. It might not be as ingrained in the political discourse as in puritanical USA, but it’s definitely something to consider.

  5. Credit where its due- the folks with the posters are the Green/EFA group in the European Parliament who have actually been very good at opposing ACTA, even before the internet mobilised behind the issue.

    1. As a result, the two Swedish Pirate Party MEPs quite naturally joined this group when they were elected in 2009.

  6. It’ll just come back in subtler and more diffuse forms until it is passed … until the media game changes again and until eventually no media has a discreet form, it’ll all be a continuous remix broadcast from the digital thoughtcloud that follows everyone around all the time. Then you will have to pay to hear/experience the variously licensed strains of each user’s ‘broadcast’. Thus forming subcultures of taste-opt-in. And it will all sound/look/feel like dubstep.

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