In Germany Pre-schools (well, we call them Kindergärten, but the translation into English mixed up the meaning of them and what we call Vorschule) are supposed to pay money when making copies of songs to distribute to the kids and parents to sing (even songs that have been in the public domain, mind you, since there is a copyright on a new 'version' of writing them down...)
Well, you do have to let the politicians take the theoretical and practical will of the people into account. And if you fail to do that the danger of a vocal minority forcing things on a silent majority gets bigger, too.
Also, keep in mind that the Courts are there to answer judicial (legal) questions, not legislative (political) ones. The Greens in the EP are well aware of the possibility that the EPP and the Commission will want to wave ACTA through after the CoJ says that ACTA is within European law. This is likely to happen, most opponents do not argue the legality of ACTA.
ACTA is not something that will immediately change current law. It will change interpretation of current law, will make it harder to pass new laws going into a softer direction (copyright reform) and make it easier to pass new laws 'strengthening' the current interpretation of copyright law (Three strikes and the likes).
I disagree with this take on things (even though Jeremy Zimmermann supports it, too): The vote will be postponed whatever happens, since the Commission has to ask the EP to vote. Since the CoJ will get to answer the questions anyways, it makes sense to ask the questions that are posed by the MEPs, not just by the Commission. At least some MEPs will also refer concerns posed by citizens this way.
We need to be careful though: The CoJ is able to answer legal questions, not political ones. If the CoJ waves ACTA through it does not mean that the EP will, or should pass it. The EC is betting their money on this to happen, but this gives us more time to lobby them, raise our political concerns, maybe even work out a good start for a real copyright reform as an alternative.
While De Gucht clearly is incompetent from our point of view regarding ACTA (and I doubt ACTA's supporters are happy with how the whole story is playing out right now in Europe), it needs a real fully-out-blown scandal involving high degree corruption to get rid of a European commissioners (since they are chosen by national governments, not elected).
Chris: Fair enough, but the general public opinion in Germany is still somewhat undecided. The biggest parties already lost many young votes to Greens and Pirates, it will not have a big impact on their normal voters. We just started discussing the issue.
We'll see what happens. I think the EP will where the battleground about ACTA will lie, and we haven't seen the US bringing out any guns as of yet, and they will bring out BIG guns.
What was also interesting is that some commentators here said that this could finally show that something like a European civil society is emerging. Admittedly this topic did not play a big role in the South and West of Europe yet, but in the East, North, and Central Europe it does, and within weeks Europe-wide protests were organized and coordinated. (links in German or French upon request)
Chris: The conservative German party has a history of not doing what young people want (or what seems like the sensitive thing to do), so the official German position has probably not changed. ACTA will be dead because it won't make it through the European Parliament, not because of the protests in Germany. Changing the current government's position on it is impossible, swaying part of them collteral damage at best.
That said, the next wave of protests are supposed to be on the 25th. Let's see how the turnout will be then.