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European parliament votes against international anti-piracy agreement

EU rejects ACTA

The EU Parliament has voted against ratifying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

According to the BBC, although twenty-two member states of the EU had signed the treaty it had not been formally ratified and is still under investigation by the European Court of Justice.

However, ACTA has met with opposition from internet users and open rights activists who claim that the Agreement will reduce freedom of expression on the internet.

“The European Parliament vote is a triumph of democracy over special interests and shady back-room deals,” commented the leader of the UK Pirate Party, Loz Kaye.

“Without this opposition, our representatives would have waved this agreement through. It is now clear that it is becoming increasingly politically poisonous to be ‘anti-internet’.”

Nonetheless, advocates of the bill have vowed to continue to fight online copyright violations.

“Today’s rejection does not change the fact that the European Commission has committed itself to seeking answers to the questions raised by the European public,” said the EU trade commissioner, Karel de Gucht.

“The European Commission will continue to seek the legal opinion of the European Court of Justice on whether this agreement harms any of the fundamental rights of European citizens – including freedom of speech.”

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