Controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement proposals rejected by European Parliament

 

Internet freedom campaigners are celebrating after a controversial international agreement, which would have forced internet service providers to hand over details of people suspected of online copyright infringement, was rejected by the European Parliament.

Today’s ‘no’ vote effectively means the end of the road for the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA), which has seen thousands of people protest in the streets across Europe.

European Parliamentarians voted overwhelmingly against ACTA, which was originally written-up in secret and given to various internet firms under non-disclosure agreements. The draft was leaked by insiders and only later published, causing yet more criticism.

The proposals, which include countries outside of Europe, were drawn up to protect copyright holders online, creating a separate international body to police it. It was signed by the European Union and was due to come into force once six EU nations ratified it.

Today’s rejection leaves the Agreement “dead in the water”, opponents, who denounce ACTA as an “attack on internet freedom”, say.

Many related it to the equally controversial US bills SOPA and PIPA. The Pirate Party was among the most prominent opponents. Its leader Loz Kaye called the vote “a triumph of democracy over special interests and shady back-room deals”.

He said: “This is a significant victory for digital rights. I’m pleased the MEPs have listened to the millions of people who contacted them and came out on the streets to protest against ACTA, instead of being misled by the empty promises of industry lobbyists.”

“This must signal a start for a new way of doing politics. No more should international agreements be negotiated behind closed doors and simply rubber stamped by parliaments. Policy must become something that happens with the people, not to the people.”

In April, the European Data Protection Supervisor said ACTA, which proposed removing legal safeguards which ensure that internet service providers are not responsible for the actions of their customers; effectively forcing them to comply with draconian demands from copyright holders, could have “unacceptable side effects” on individual rights.

“A right balance between the fight against IP infringement and the rights to privacy and data protection must be respected. It appears that ACTA has not been fully successful in this respect,” the Supervisor said.

Earlier that month, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on ACTA said it did not “guarantee adequate protection for citizens’ rights”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn