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EU politicos put the boot into sickly ACTA

International Trade committee urged to kill anti-piracy treaty

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Three European Parliament committees have rejected the barely breathing Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

Those opinions have now been sent to the International Trade committee, which is expected to to give its verdict on the 21 June.

MEPs on the civil liberties committee urged that ACTA in its current form should be killed off. Their comments were supported by the legal affairs and industry committees, all of whom dismissed the controversial treaty, which is yet to be ratified by 22 member states in Europe.

The UK government signed the treaty in January this year and it broadly supports the anti-counterfeiting agreement.

The European Parliament was 36 votes in favour of that opinion, one against, while 21 MEPs abstained.

"The deeply flawed way ACTA was negotiated and agreed upon, its grave ambiguity, and the uncertain effect on fundamental rights many of its provisions would cause on national legislation, makes it a paradigm of bad lawmaking," said Greek MEP Dimitrios Droutsas after the vote was cast.

"We fully acknowledge and respect the need for artists to be compensated for their genius and the challenges technology poses for this to happen. However, we must not accept, nor can we allow the erosion of basic fundamental rights in Europe, and around the world, for expediency's sake," he added.

"What we need is a real public debate, involving all experts, organisations and individuals in order to achieve a modern social pact, a modern regime of protecting intellectual property rights. ACTA is not, and was not, conceived to be this."

The Euro politicos argued that ISPs should not police the internet and urged the European Commission and its 27 Member States to ensure that the role of telcos was clear.

A final decision from the European Parliament on ACTA is expected in July this year. If the trade agreement is killed off, it will simply pave the way for ACTA 2.0. ®

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