The hits to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) keeps on coming. Today, we have learned that the Prime Minister of Romania has said that unless significant changes happen to ACTA, the country will refuse to ratify it.
ACTA has been dealt with a number of blows in recent weeks. A week ago, amid indications that the European Union will not vote favorably for the international agreement, ACTA officially headed to the European Court of Justice to determine, among other things, whether or not it violates fundamental rights in the continent. Last Friday, the agreement received another blow in the United States. 50 law professors examined the legalities of the agreement and said that, among other things, the USTR may not have legal authority to represent the US in the negotiations and that the President does not actually have the authority to merely sign the agreement to make it law. Little wonder why Michael Geist told ZeroPaid on Monday that “ACTA may ultimately be seen as a failed treaty exercise.”
This is not the end of the bad news for proponents of ACTA.
The Romanian Prime Minister recently went on record citing privacy rights as a reason for not ratifying the agreement.
“We will not ratify it until the European Parliament brings modifications that ensure, as is right, the protection of intellectual property rights, but also that the right to private life is not breached. The moment when internet providers are allowed to go into my e-mail address, read my messages, this is something I do not wish for myself, and I do not wish on any Romanians,” said Ponta for the Antena3 Channel.
Michael Geist notes that since the European Parliament does not have the power to modify the agreement, that means Romania will never ratify the agreement.
Earlier this year, Poland had second thoughts on ratifying ACTA which made observers feel that ratification of ACTA in Europe may be in doubt.
Given the kind of threat ACTA poses to everyone, I personally hope that this is a trend that will continue until the agreement becomes nothing more than a piece of paper.