We have some news breaking this hour. Dutch lawmakers have voted to formally reject ACTA. Details are only just surfacing on the vote.
The Sacramento Bee reports:
Dutch lawmakers adopted a motion Tuesday urging the government not to sign a controversial international treaty aimed at reining in online piracy.
The motion was another setback for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, known as ACTA, which has run into opposition around the world.
The European Union suspended efforts to ratify the treaty in February amid a storm of protest from activists who say the agreement would stifle free speech and access to information.
Lisa Neves Goncalves – a spokeswoman for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation – said the government had earlier this year stated it would avoid signing the treaty until it was clear it did not breach the Dutch or EU constitutions. That clarity must come from the European Court of Justice, which the EU has asked to check whether ACTA violates any fundamental EU rights.
This is just the latest in a string of setbacks ACTA has experienced in the past month alone. Earlier this month, ACTA was formally sent to the European Court of Justice to determine, among other things, whether or not it violated fundamental rights. That was amidst speculation that the European Union would reject the agreement altogether. Just three days later, 50 law professors questioned the constitutionality of ACTA being signed by the president in the US. Five days after that, the Romanian Prime Minister said that Romania wouldn’t ratify ACTA. Just this morning, we reported that the UK Pirate Party was calling for an anti-ACTA protest in London on June 9th. Now, the string of setbacks continue with the Netherlands rejecting ACTA. It should be interesting to see how many other countries follow suit reject the agreement now.
Update: additional coverage on Slashdot