Thursday, July 05, 2012

EU: European Parliament rejects ACTA

Source: IFEX

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - Strasbourg, 4 July 2012 - Today, the European Parliament rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement by an overwhelming majority of 478 votes to 39 with 165 abstentions. ARTICLE 19 welcomes the European Parliament's NO vote which finally slams the door on this fundamentally flawed agreement.

“Today's vote on ACTA is an historic victory for democracy and online freedoms. It also signals that private interests cannot always trump citizens' fundamental rights” said Agnes Callamard, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19.

“The battle for sound copyright reform and digital freedoms continues. But by rejecting ACTA, the European Parliament has opened the door to a truly open and participatory policy-making process. We can now hope that fundamental rights will be at the heart of European copyright reform”, she continued.

It is the first time that the European Parliament has rejected an international treaty already signed by the European Commission (and 22 of the 27 EU member states).

ACTA was negotiated in secret. ARTICLE 19 and several other civil society organisations have relentlessly warned that it fails to provide sufficient safeguards for the rights to freedom of expression and information and other fundamental rights.

Thousands of citizens protested in February and June this year against the controversial trade agreement.

Today, the European Parliament has answered the call of European citizens and the world over. It is clear that the fight for Internet freedoms continues. The issue of copyright enforcement will not go away. But looking ahead, the future of European copyright reform looks a little brighter today.