Overwhelming Majority Of EU Parliament Votes Against ACTA

from the wow dept

Wasn’t expecting such a lopsided result, but EU Parliament voted 663 to 13 against ACTA, saying that “it flouts agreed EU laws on counterfeiting and piracy online.” Beyond that, apparently the Parliament is ready to go to court to stop EU negotiators from continuing down the path they’re on:

MEPs will go to the Court of Justice if the EU does not reject ACTA rules, including cutting off users from the Internet “gradually” if caught stealing content.

Some Members of Parliament are also pointing out that the EU negotiators are violating the Lisbon Treaty, which says that EU Parliament Members should have “full and immediate access at all stages of international negotiations.”

This is pretty big — and a massive setback for ACTA supporters. The MEPs didn’t just reject the lack of transparency, they were blatantly rejecting some of the proposals that were in the leaked documents.

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Comments on “Overwhelming Majority Of EU Parliament Votes Against ACTA”

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Anonymous Coward says:

From the linked article, nice to finally see such a position by a legislative body.

“This Parliament will not sit back silently while the fundamental rights of millions of citizens are being negotiated away behind closed doors. We oppose any “legislation laundering” on an international level of what would be very difficult to get through most national legislatures or the European Parliament,” added Lambrinidis.

Flakey says:

Re: Re: Well, what'ta ya know?

My first response was to word a post similar to yours.

It’s a sad day that the US is no longer the land of the free and no longer are you innocent until proven guilty. By bits and pieces, we have sat and watched our freedoms erode in favor of the corporation.

With the ruling of SCOTUS saying that money was the equivalent to free speech for corporations, it legalized bribery in an offhand way. That the SCOTUS judges did not get this during the State of the Union address is notable in itself.

I’ve said before the reason for the secrecy surrounding ACTA wasn’t because of needing it to complete negotiations but rather to hide it from view because it was a real stinker for anyone not involved in IP holding and production.

It’s been a lie ever since the Bush administration declared it a national security interest and Obama continued it. So much for Obama’s openness in government.

This would not have been as likely to have come to a treaty had not so many from the entertainment industry setting in seats that influence the direction government takes.

It’s a shame it took the EU to have the balls to stand up and say this isn’t going to work. It should have come from the US itself long before it ever got on the treaty table.

It’s a sign of how far the government has leaned away from “for the people”.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

To reword you slightly:

“it is another reason that the USA will not last. what the individual states want and what the union wants is not the same on many issues.”

Erm, yeah…

Having differing opinions to other members of a union is a good thing – as long as debate is encouraged and the end result beneficial to the majority. It seems like that has happened here.

PT (profile) says:

Re: who wants what

It shouldn’t matter what individual governments want. It should be about what the PEOPLE want, and enormous numbers of Europeans (especially in Britain) are deeply pissed off that their regional governments are doing stuff that they, the people, do not want, particularly to do with internet surveillance and copyright control. The EU Parliament is held in universal contempt as a toothless bunch of do-nothing expense fiddlers, so taking action on a matter of widespread public concern can only be good for their future.

a fox who hates ACTA says:

Re: Re:

no one wants it because it takes away all privacy and gives internet providers the right to A.)chose what you see and don’t see. B.)what you download and upload. andC)take away your internet just because they “suspect you of copyright infringement.

so in all actuality,yhe gov.did what the people wanted

Not That Chris (profile) says:


I think my favorite quote from the article is:

NGOs, academics and trade bodies that have studied leaks from the trade talks say the agreement would pave the way for network providers to introduce “US-style draconian” ways to penalise piracy.

I’m thinking we need to see about patenting this “US-style draconian” method before someone comes along and tries to steal it…but perhaps I’ve said too much…

Dark Helmet (profile) says:


Stories like this actually make me question my beliefs on conspirtorial control.

Question: How binding is this vote?

The way the story makes it sound, it’s like an up/down vote in the US Senate (And yes, I realize that the EU is not a single country, just a comparison). Does that mean it’s been shot down and done in all of Europe? Does it mean that it can be revisited in the future, when say there are something like 663 strange European deaths that suddenly happen, or 663 sex/drug scandals?

If a treaty has been violated, what does that mean not only for ACTA European negotiators, but also international “partners” that encouraged such illegality?

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Hmmm....

Well the member states in the EU are stronger than US states – but it is still difficult for member states to persist for long against the EU. However the parliament is not the whole story – there is also the council of ministers. Having said that – any new legislation has to get through both.

Personally I always had a feeling that the European parliament might be the downfall of ACTA although I’m surprised the vote was this strong.

It is more disconnected from the executive than any other parliament and so MEPs are more independent minded.

I suspect that the ACTA negotiators hadn’t noticed that the parliament’s powers have been slowly increasing over the last few years – and the one thing they have authority over is treaties.

Add to that the influx of Pirate party members at last year’s election (not to mention the awareness of the issues that came about as a result of the campaign) and at last we have a democratic body with the right attitude and some aurhtority to follow through.

Anonymous Coward says:

Not 'Go USA!', more like 'Go, USA'

Finally, some common sense from what used to be called the common market.

It’s about bloody time that someone stood up to the bent and corrupt politicians in the US government (even if it truly astonishes me that it’s those with their snouts and trotters firmly in the EU trough who are now wailing about lack of transparency and human rights!)

How they can call themselves a democracy when the needs and wants of big business dictate law making and policy is simply beyond me. I know that no democracy is perfect but I’m simply staggered by the ability of the US to try to introduce laws that stifle free markets and create a trade Marshall Plan giving US companies, via their bought and paid for legislature, control of other countries’ economies.

Why does the rest of the world hate the US government? It’s because they won’t fucking stay in their box and keep themselves to themselves.

The US only wants international laws that it agrees to. World trade agreements? Oh yes, they’ll stick to that but only when their own interests (and by ‘own’ I mean the companies that pay politicians and not the ‘people’) show a benefit. How many times have they been found guilty of infringing and breaking those laws? How many times have they actually respected judgements that have gone against them? Many and never.

The more misguided legislation that is introduced to protect businesses from competition and stifle innovation, the more that activists will find ways to cicumvent those provisions and the more that public sentiment will rise against these manipulative powerbrokers.

Governments are already no longer the functional powers in the countries that they profess to run. Business and money controls individuals and individuals control government. Corruption is not endemic – it is the simply the norm. Whether it’s ‘you vote for my law and I’ll vote for yours’ or a more base ‘I’ve just been paid shitloads of money to add a clause to a bill on child protection that no-one would dare oppose’, it’s all just a fucking joke.

Democracy, my arse.

FormerAC (profile) says:

Thank you MEPs

Its about time someone made a stand on this.

I wrote both of my Senators and my House Rep this morning with the following:

“The European Parliament voted 663 to 13 against ACTA stating ‘This Parliament will not sit back silently while the fundamental rights of millions of citizens are being negotiated away behind closed doors. We oppose any “legislation laundering” on an international level of what would be very difficult to get through most national legislatures or the European Parliament.’

What are you doing to stop ACTA.”

I ask you Tech Dirt … what are you doing to stop it?

Call me Al says:

Re: Election Time?

This is Europe…. every year is an election year.

This though is something new. I would not have expected the EU Parliament to be so forthright on this issue. I think there could well be an element of them flexing their new found muscle now that the Lisbon Treaty has been ratified.

Joe says:

I found this paragraph from the article to be interesting:

Participants in the last round of talks in Mexico included Australia, Canada, the European Union (represented by the European Commission), Spain in its capacity as EU presidency holder, an unnamed EU member state, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.

So who’s the mystery member?

Hephaestus (profile) says:

And the lights come on ....

I keep saying this is going to be fun to watch, now my expectation of what is going to happen has changed.

The door is slowly openning, the light is leaking in, and the cockroaches are about to scurry. When the EU gets full disclosure on ACTA and all the players involved are exposed to public scrutiny there is going to be alot of back peddling and ass covering.

What the contributors to ACTA stated was that they were afraid that if not kept secret people would leave the negotiating table. I wonder who will leave the negotiating table first?

Any guesses on who and in what order they will leave?


and n ohter news

the US republicans are introducing a bill to remvoe the usa form nafta thus alienating them from mexico and canada

BOY them RETARDs in the states are doing it good this time

china says it won’t sign

ya know seeing that vote so lop sided tells you how well the EU can work when pressed a little for action.

dump the liberals and conservatives in Canada and were with you. BOTH parties would support ACTA.

People are seeing the benefits to lessening IP terms too.
THIS is the next battle to get lazy and greed out of creativity.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: and n ohter news

and the republicans claim to be free market capitalists but it’s all one giant lie. They’re only free market capitalists for the rich and for the big corporations (ie: when the court ruled that corporations can spend whatever they want on campaign contributions), but when it comes to individual freedoms and freedom of speech they are nothing but plutocratic tyrants.

Oh, and I’m not defending the democrats here. VOTE LIBERTARIAN AND PIRATE PARTISAN!!


george rolled over in his grave

that washington guy

and wait till this obama gets removed form power and the republicans remove the USa form nafta.

THE usa AUTO PACT version 2.0 want to sell cars here build em here and this time we won’t let you sell surplus to the USA.

WE’ll enact the NON USA foreign ownership law. that restricts american corporate influence to 5PERCENT of any corporation.

We’ll nationalize OIL and double the price of our resources JUST for americans …..
beef , lumber , steel, uranium, metals , everything.

YUP dumb is as dumb is.

Owltheati says:

Since 1930, asset valuation was accomplished through political means. To gain a higher valuation to satisfy investors, politics were leveraged. An unfortunate side effect of this is that the price of entry into existing industries became too high for new players to be admitted. This is something that a lay person is not expected to recognize.

The problem may be that there exist several tried, tested, and equitable alternatives to the current system. It’s called market economics. Part of this may be a result of the industry’s inability to experiment with new models when times were good. Another theory is that the legal IP framework in place doesn’t focus on offensive capabilities and allow for an extension of commerce in a realistic capability where pertinent data and information can be available at a moment’s notice.

Rather, adherence to an old system where strengthening the existing marketplace through legal means is more applicable.

However, I believe that we’re fast approaching a sort of intersection between the two schools of thought where an offensive move can indeed be considered defensive, thusly rendering ACTA as well as DCMA obsolete.

In the short term, we have to accept that consumption will decline in some industries such as Pharma will need to organically grow their market without real innovation outside of marketing or the legal process.

It’s unfortunate that some of these industries believe that the creation of international treaties outside of the generally accepted and voted-upon Act/Bill process used by the US Congress for over 200 years is insufficient and too slow for investors and instead use the stock price as their barometer. Excess legal leverage will be defined retrospectively and forward looking assumptions will in time be proven false.

The current expectation of Government to act and strengthen a system which provides a mechanism to re-value undervalued assets through regulation risks disappointing voters at its own risk. These areas are bio, bio-medical, pharma and bio-tech.

I tend to believe that the RIAA and MPAA were brought along for the ride. But what strikes me as odd is the decisive policy decision to increase supply-side economic theory because when capital was cheap, they failed to use the lower cost capital to internally invest in R&D, but rather placed their bets 100% on incenting consumption.

MadKat says:

...things have changed

Per the Gettysburg address– and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. It has…

Who are these “people”.

Our government doesn’t think much “of the people”, the do not run anything “by the people” and they are doing continually less “for the people”.

Our government is turning me in to quite a cynic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: ...things have changed

I am not an American but my govenment is behaving in such an idiotic manner that I have stopped voting.

I used to vote for everything that I could, to be a good citizen but my government no longer treats me like a citizen, simply a consumer, to be bought and paid for by corporate interests.

Fuck them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: ...things have changed

I used to vote for everything that I could, to be a good citizen but my government no longer treats me like a citizen, simply a consumer, to be bought and paid for by corporate interests.

Fuck them.

Greatest quote on this page. Though I would change bought to sold in that statement for US citizens…

I used to vote for everything that I could, to be a good citizen but my government no longer treats me like a citizen, simply a consumer, to be sold and paid for by corporate interests.

Fuck them!

WW2? lol says:

WW2 was the best thing that happened to the US, human losses not considered of course… but with most of Fortress Europe in ruins, european powers had to relinquish control over their colonies, thus making them even more weaker. The US also made alot of profit with the reconstruction of Europe and Japan.

No one can clearly state that we would be speaking all german if it wasnt for the US, I would state probably russian but hey… so would u be speaking japanese or something…

Lets face it US needs a strong EU and the other way around is also true.

cherry tang says:

someone clearly needs a history, lesson you could start by looking here

http://www.cracked.com/article_18389_the-5-most-widely-believed-wwii-facts-that-are-bullshit .html

Really? Read the article. Seems the only thing I got out of it was “communism great, west fails”. So while Soviet contribution was certainly important, if the US had not entered the war, and it was known the US would not enter the war (or provide material and financial support for that matter), what the hell do you think Japan would have done? A Soviet ass-raping, that’s what. Unless you think Russia could have taken on both Germany and Japan single-handedly, which seems unlikely. And certainly not before Hitler finished in the western front.

And where do you think Russia received so many of the supplies it needed to fund its war? From its wonderful economic system? Please. Revisionist history fails.

pure arrogance says:

Re: Re:

So you state that Russia would be able, single handed, to stop the Axis, which I agree. But do you think you would? Even know with all the might of the american army and technology you cant secure Iraq alone. Back then German technology was far superior than anything you had. And Im not even Russian, German or Brit.

Liberty Lost says:

Proud to be living in Europe

“This Parliament will not sit back silently while the fundamental rights of millions of citizens are being negotiated away behind closed doors. We oppose any “legislation laundering” on an international level of what would be very difficult to get through most national legislatures or the European Parliament,” added Lambrinidis.

I have been disillusioned with the UK government’s handling of the Digital Economy Bill and the very undemocratic “wash-up” process that is being used to sneak it into UK legislation, not to mention the shady Lord Mandelson who is behind it (a man who has resigned from office twice after being accused of abusing his position of power and trust).

I cried after I read what Lambrinidis said. His words have injected me with cautious optimism – with the hope that democracy still exists in some parts of the world. Although I’m an American by birth, today I’m proud to say I’m European.

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