The European Parliament has voted to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta). The proposed agreement sought to curb piracy, but Internet campaigners said it posed a threat to online freedoms.
The rejection vote followed a failed attempt to postpone the decision because of ongoing investigations into Acta by the European Court of Justice.
Twenty two EU member states, including the UK, had signed the Acta treaty – but it had not been formally ratified.
Outside the EU, the treaty also had the support of the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea. However, following significant protests, several countries chose not to back the treaty.
The vote is seen by most observers as the final blow to the treaty in its current form. It means no member states will be able to join the agreement.
Responding to the ACTA vote, Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said: “This is a tremendous victory for the movement, for democracy and for every European citizen that has demanded that their rights be respected. ACTA must be abandoned. The Commission must drop its calls to try again.ORG would like to thank the thousands of activists from the Uk that helped persuade MPs to stand up for democracy.”
A total of 478 MEPs voted against the deal, with 39 in favour. There were 165 abstentions.