European Parliament votes against ACTA


The controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) legislation has been rejected by the European Parliament.

The anti-piracy legislation has been under discussion since 2007 and was designed to promote the global enforcement of intellectual property rights for digital and physical goods.

The UK, along with 21 other EU member states, signed up to the treaty in January, but it required European parliamentary ratification for it to be approved.

However, the European Parliament rejected the treaty, by a vote of 478 to 39 with 165 abstentions, earlier today.

The proposed legislation had previously come under fire from civil liberties groups and campaigners who claimed its enforcement would result in internet censorship.

News of its rejection has been warmly welcomed by privacy campaigners, the Open Rights Group (ORG).

In a statement, Jim Killock, executive director of the ORG, said: "This is a tremendous victory for the movement, for democracy and for every European citizen that has demanded that their rights be respected," he said.

The result of the vote means ACTA's fate now hangs in the balance, but Killock said the authorities would be foolhardy to revive it.

"ACTA must be abandoned. The Commission must drop its calls to try again," he added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.