Good news for Internet freedom advocates this morning, as TorrentFreak reports that the European Parliament has officially voted down ACTA today by a whopping 478 votes against compared to just 39 in favor. The purpose of ACTA, or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, had been to establish an international legal framework against counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet.
The multinational treaty had originally been gaining traction throughout the world, with eleven countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan, signing the agreement last October. After numerous protests that led to similar anti-piracy act SOPA being turned down in the United States, however, public knowledge and consumer awareness about ACTA skyrocketed across Europe in an effort to shoot down the agreement.
While the European Union has dismissed ACTA, there are still other countries that could ratify the agreement; however, the Mexican Senate has already rejected the treaty while Australia and Switzerland appear to be following suit. It is even questionable that the United States would formally ratify ACTA into action, so the agreement is essentially nullified. And Internet users across the world couldn’t be any happier.
Today, we celebrate a job extraordinarily well done.
Today, on July 4, Europe celebrates a day of independence from American special interests.
Today, we stood up for our most basic rights against corporate giants, and won.
Congratulations to all of us, and thanks to all brothers and sisters on the barricades across the world who made this happen.