European Parliament rejects ACTA
6th July, 2012
In what is being claimed as a victory for internet freedom, broad-based debate and consultation before harmonizing of intellectual property law and an acceptable framework to deal with generics, counterfeit goods as also enforcement of copyright, the European Parliament, on 4th July, voted to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
Barring 5 nations, 22 out of the 27 member states of the EU, have signed ACTA. It was required to be ratified by the Parliament and also by individual member nations to enter into force. With the overwhelming 478 votes against it, ACTA is unlikely to see a revival. However, the European Commission is awaiting the CJEU opinion on compatibility of ACTA with EU laws. Eight other non-EU signatory nations including the USA are yet to ratify ACTA.
ACTA has drawn much criticism for lack of transparency in negotiating the text and proposing what are called TRIPS-plus provisions with regard to criminalising infringement and strict penal provisions. Much of the campaign against ACTA has been directed at the provisions which empower right holders to seek information from online service providers with regard to suspected or alleged infringement, border protection measures, copyright enforcement in digital environment and so on.