EU politicians signal rejection of ACTA

Jeff Hargarten

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement could be rejected by European Parliament following widespread protests and delayed ratification by many of the union’s members.

The parliament’s rapporteur, David Martin, said he will recommend members vote against the controversial trade agreement that could result in draconian anti-piracy measures and intellectual property protections which free speech advocates have vocally objected to. Martin said ACTA doesn’t provide enough guarantees for European citizens.

Euro MP Hannes Swoboda, president of the parliament’s second-largest bloc, the Socialists and Democrats, backed Martin’s statement.

It was originally announced the EU would send ACTA to its highest court for review, but the treaty ended up before a parliamentary vote instead, a process that could delay the legislation by two years.

ACTA has drawn protests across Europe and the rest of the world for months. The multinational treaty attempts to combat trafficking of counterfeit goods and targets online copyright infringement using methods similar to SOPA and PIPA.

ACTA came to public attention in May 2008 when documents mentioning the treaty were uploaded to WikiLeaks. The U.S. signed the treaty in October 2011, along with seven other countries.