At the end of last month, three European committees rejected ACTA. At the time, everyone was waiting for a fourth committee to decide whether or not the European Union should accept or reject the agreement. Now, the results are in and ACTA has been rejected by the fourth committee.
The month of May could be considered a very rough month for supporters of the secretive Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Last month, ACTA was sent to the European court of justice to determine whether or not the agreement violated fundamental rights. After that, 50 US law professors suggested that ACTA’s handling may be unconstitutional. Then, the Romanian Prime Minister said that his country won’t ratify the agreement. While the UK Pirate Party has been calling for protests in London in a few days, the agreement was rejected by the Netherlands. The blows kept coming as four documents containing meeting notes from ACTA was leaked by EDRI. The month was then capped off by three European committees rejecting ACTA.
Now, we’re learning that the string of blows to ACTA is continuing into this month as well. A press release from the European Parliament website is reporting that a fourth committee, namely the Development Committee, has narrowly voted against the agreement:
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was rejected on Monday by the Development Committee, the fourth committee advising the International Trade Committee to do so. These committees’ positions are not binding on the Trade Committee, which adopts its own position as lead committee on 21 June.
Civil Liberties MEPs say ACTA fails to respect the EU’s fundamental rights and the Industry Committee says it does not balance the rights and freedoms of the different stakeholders. The Legal Affairs Committee voted narrowly against a recommendation to approve the controversial Agreement and the Development Committee voted overwhelmingly against ACTA.
The three committees that previously rejected ACTA were the industry committee, the civil liberties committee, and the legal affairs committee. While June 21 is a ways away, a lot can happen between then and now. Other countries in the Eurozone could reject the agreement in the mean time, thus providing further momentum to fully reject ACTA through a vote in the European Parliament for instance. While this has all been good news for civil rights, the battle over ACTA is still far from over.