ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has been overwhelmingly rejected by the European Parliament, by 478 votes to 39 (165 abstained). It now seems unlikely to come into force anywhere in the world. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers celebrate democratic independence from The Man.
By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Higgs-dependence Day...
Jennifer Baker cooks up the story:
[ACTA] cannot become law in the European Union or any of its member states. ...civil liberties groups have hailed the result as a huge victory.
...The major sticking point is [that] protesters say [ACTA] leaves the door open for countries to force [ISPs] to police their own customers...[and] that the deal was largely negotiated in secret.
...The international agreement can only enter into force if ratified by six of the 11 signatories. ... However, Mexico has already rejected it and Australia and Switzerland look set to follow suit. Even Japan...is having second thoughts.
Aunty Beeb is studiously even-handed:
The proposed agreement sought to curb piracy, but...campaigners said it posed a threat to online freedoms. ... Wednesday's vote is seen by most observers as the final blow to the treaty in its current form.
...As the decision was made, some of those in attendance held banners reading: "Hello democracy, goodbye ACTA".
...However, key players in the creative industries expressed frustration. ... "ACTA is an important tool for promoting...jobs and intellectual property," said...the Federation of European Publishers. ...the International Trademark Association, warned that Europe could now be left behind when it comes to protecting intellectual property. ... "We expect that Acta will move ahead without the EU."
And Andrew Orlowski reads the "hapless treaty" its last rites:
One entertainment industry attorney [said] it had been a mistake to negotiate in private, since this stoked the anti-copyright activists' most paranoid fantasies.
...The European Publishers Council pointed out that: “The European Parliament has totally ignored proper judicial procedure...despite calls from thousands of companies and workers...who have called for ACTA to be signed.”
The Pirate Party's Rick Falkvinge busts out the méthode champenoise:
Still confused? This bickering_fool neatly summarizes the issue:
ACTA demanded the criminalisation of "commercial-scale"...infringement. A very broad term...that could potentially turn tens of thousands of internet users into criminals overnight.
...[It's] a fundamentally poorly drafted piece of legislation...a good opportunity, should it have been enacted, for media owners/content providers to crack-down unfairly.
Meanwhile, Logan Hale sees a bigger picture:
Today is an awesome day for Europe. ... I can't even imagine a scene like that in the US. ... The USA needs to stop everything and observe.
...As for the Higgs-boson, I believe Neil deGrasse Tyson says it best: "On the day we reserve to tell ourselves America is great - July 4 - Europe reminds us that we suck at science. #HiggsBoson".