EU Courts Asked to Rule On ACTA

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has been largely criticized and garnered international attention following the high-profile anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA demonstrations earlier this year. Already signed by numerous countries, opponents believe the treaty will harm free speech and are fighting to have their countries reexamine the bill. Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia, and Slovakia have said they are delaying their signing of the agreement in order to carry out further discussions. Similarly, Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Latvia have delayed the process in their countries following pressure from Anti-ACTA supporters. Today we learn that the European Commission will be referring ACTA to the European Union's highest court.

According to the BBC, EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht said today that the European Court of Justice had been asked to study the bill to see if it violated "the EU's fundamental rights and freedoms."

"Let me be very clear: I share people's concern for these fundamental freedoms... especially over the freedom of the internet," De Gucht is quoted as saying. "This debate must be based upon facts, and not upon the misinformation and rumour that has dominated social media sites and blogs in recent weeks."

ACTA has already been signed by 22 EU member states, as well as the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea. Those against ACTA believe that the agreement will harm free speech and that it is designed with only content creators in mind. Though it has been signed by many countries, no one has ratified the treaty yet. European Parliament is set to debate ACTA in June.

Follow @JaneMcEntegart on Twitter for the latest news.                        

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
13 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • Microgoliath
    Gezuz when they just gonna drop this shit idea? No one wants except the gov and big companies.
    17
  • Northwestern
    MicroGoliathGezuz when they just gonna drop this shit idea? No one wants except the gov and big companies.

    That's the whole point of SOPA, PIPA and ACTA. Doing what they can to save the big corporations at the expense of the civil rights.
    15
  • kinggraves
    "This debate must be based upon facts, and not upon the misinformation and rumour that has dominated social media sites and blogs in recent weeks."

    Great, so we're also going to have a debate free of lies from the media industry? Will we finally have some substantial evidence that directly connects a loss of income or jobs with copyright infringement instead of the assumption that every single downloaded file is a "lost sale"? Will we finally stop calling it "piracy" when there is no robbery at sea taking place?

    Every country that votes this in is making a bold statement that they do not represent the wishes of their people. Keep on clearing up where your allegiances lie, at least the US had the sense to hide it under the table until the heat dies down and pretend they work for the people.
    13
  • Other Comments
  • manu 11
    ^^so true
    6
  • Microgoliath
    Gezuz when they just gonna drop this shit idea? No one wants except the gov and big companies.
    17