BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Parliament overwhelmingly defeated the international ACTA anti-piracy trade agreement Wednesday after concern that it would limit Internet freedom mobilized broad opposition across Europe.
The vote — 39 in favor, 478 against and 165 abstentions — means that as far as the EU is concerned the treaty is finished, at least for the moment, though other countries may well participate.
Supporters had said ACTA — the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement — was needed to standardize international laws that protect the rights of those who produce music, movies, pharmaceuticals, fashion goods and other products that often fall victim to piracy and intellectual property theft. Opponents feared it would lead to censorship and a loss of privacy on the Internet.
Green Party members of the European parliament demonstrate against the ACTA project (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) during the vote Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France. The European Parliament has overwhelmingly defeated the international ACTA anti-piracy agreement, after fears that it would limit Internet freedom.