Europe Rejects ACTA: “Disappointment” For The Studios, But No “Substantive” Difference

As expected, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), was rejected by the European Parliament today. An overwhelming majority voted against the treaty designed to establish international rules for cracking down on piracy and copyright infringement. Concerns raised over the agreement included a perceived lack of clarity and a window for misinterpretation that could jeopardize citizens’ rights. The Motion Picture Association was active in developing the treaty, but MPA Europe president, Chris Marcich, tells me that while the outcome is a disappointment for the studios, the result does not “substantively” change anything. “Certainly we’re disappointed with the vote, but I don’t think it was based on the treaty itself, it was based on politics and institutional issues. For Europe, ACTA didn’t mean any change at all in the current legal framework.” ACTA was negotiated by the EU and its member states along with the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Switzerland. Thousands of EU citizens have protested the agreement fearing it would place limits on freedom of speech. The European Parliament also received a petition signed by 2.9M people worldwide calling for it to reject the agreement.

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