EU court to rule on ACTA

by Jeff Hargarten

The European Union’s high court will rule on the legality of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, the BBC reported.

ACTA has come under international scrutiny and triggered widespread protests across Europe for anti-piracy and counterfeiting provisions critics see as affronts to free speech online. The treaty was signed by 22 EU states, though several countries, including Germany, The Netherlands and Denmark, have delayed ratification following public outcry.

Karel De Gucht, the EU’s trade head, told the BCC the high court will judge whether ACTA complies with the union’s laws before it is debated by European Parliament in June.

While ratification falls to individual countries, EU support is considered vital to the treaty’s implementation and enforcement of copyright measures.

The United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Canada also signed ACTA and have actively supported the treaty.

ACTA aims to combat the trafficking of intellectual property and spread of copyright infringement across international borders and online.