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ACTA Ratification Suspended By European Commission

Posted by: , 13:46 AEDT, Fri February 24, 2012
Tags: Copyright

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A small victory for Internet activists as the ratification ACTA is temporarily suspended while the EU seeks clarification on the legality of the treat in respect to rights of EU citizens

Ratification of the controversial ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) has been suspended by the European Commission after widespread protests on the streets of European cities.

ACTA, the brainchild of US entertainment conglomerates, had been designed to force countries to take harsher measures to enforce copyright, including the introduction of graduated response, ISP monitoring and website blocking.

With the US signing on to the treaty that it lobbied for, the attention turned on the EU members to ratify the treaty - all 27 member countries must ratify the treaty in order for the entire EU to the party to the treaty.

But with mass protests on the streets of Prague, Warsaw, London by Internet activists and civil rights campaigners worried ACTA would bring about an unprecedented level of surveillance not seen since the Cold War days, and stifle free speech, all in the name of helping US corporations.

A recent study found that the delay of new movie and TV show releases in Europe, compared to the US, is driving most of the movie industry's losses, not piracy.

But for ACTA, the fight for (and against) it is not over. While the European Commission's back down is a sign that they've acknowledged the political difficulty in ratifying ACTA, the majority of EU member countries, including the UK, has already signed the treaty. The EU will now refer the matter to Europe's highest court to see if the treaty violates fundamental rights of EU citizens.


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