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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.

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  • srgess
    gay-a
    Reply
  • manu 11
    ^^so true
    Reply
  • Microgoliath
    Gezuz when they just gonna drop this shit idea? No one wants except the gov and big companies.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • Noteworthy, 22 EU states have signed it but none (no country in the world) has ratified it, people can still get in touch with their local politicians and ask this not be supported
    Reply
  • Benihana
    So will they ask the citizens to bend over before or after ACTA is ruled on?
    Reply
  • shoelessinsight
    From what I can tell, ACTA in its current revision wouldn't have much impact on the internet in the U.S., as it is pretty similar to the laws that are already in place here. Other countries may have cause to worry, however, if their home laws are currently less restrictive than those in the U.S.

    The original version of ACTA truly was scary, hence all the "worse than SOPA" claims. But because of some leaked info from the secret meetings (thanks, Wikileaks!), there was a lot of early backlash, resulting in the fairly tame current revision.

    There are still some questionable things left that don't deal with the internet. For example, ACTA could crush a lot of generic medicines, leaving expensive name-brand drugs as the only option for many people. On the other hand, that provision could theoretically take the unsafe, poorly made drugs off the market.
    Reply
  • QEFX
    MicrogoliathGezuz when they just gonna drop this shit idea? No one wants except the gov and big companies.
    The only way I'd support this is if the companies (and I'm thinking movie, TV, games & music) put all the money they spend on lawyers, gov't bribes (I mean donations) & copyright tech into making better ... make that much much better products.

    No more crappy movies, no more TV with scripts written by 4 year olds (or at least by people with the skill of 4 year olds), no more buggy overpriced games and no more autotune "music". If these companies would make something actually worth buying ... I'll spend my money. If you only give us garbage ... good luck.
    Reply
  • alhanelem
    if ACTA gets passed it wont change anything
    people just need to stop paying for products sold by the greedy corporations and see them fall
    Reply