ACTA Near Boiling Point In Europe

While ACTA is still to pass (and let’s hope to God it doesn’t), the European Parliament’s international trade committee has rejected a proposal by David Martin, who wanted to find out the European Court Of Justice position on ACTA.

Karel De Guch – EU trade chief – said on February that ACTA would be referred to the European Court of Justice. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, although aiming to find a global copyright solution, has been discussed and formulated behind closed doors, only increasing fears that the act is smudged with censorship all over.

Meanwhile, David Martin, a UK MEP who’s looking into the Parliament’s position on ACTA, has made a proposal to forward ACTA before the European Court of Justice in order to find out its opinion on it, but the committee has decided that it wasn’t necessary, as it will vote in June on whether ACTA is going to be approved or not.

The European Parliament’s trade committee rejected the plan: 21 MEPs voting against, 5 in favor and 2 abstentions. As such, ACTA could reach the Parliament in a few months.

Activists are happy with the decision, as European protests against ACTA reached extraordinary levels.

“Referring ACTA to the court is no substitute for the political procedure needed to check this agreement and determine democratically whether its entry into force is in the European interest,” said Amelia Andersdotter, a Pirate Party MEP and Shadow rapporteur on ACTA for the Greens.

“Only a democratic ratification process via the European and national parliaments is able to provide such a judgment, and we therefore welcome today’s decision to continue with this process.”

During the following months ACTA will be forwarded to committees in the European Parliament, reaching its final destination – the Parliament – in June.

“If ACTA dies in European Parliament, then it’s a permakill, and the monopoly lobbies will have to start fighting uphill,” said Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge.

“If ACTA passes, the same monopolists get tons of new powers to use, and close the door for the foreseeable future behind the legislators for a very necessary reform of the copyright and patent monopolies.”

ACTA was first revealed by Wikileaks in 2008, despite efforts of keeping it secret.