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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Web Freedom To Depend On European Court’s Ruling On ACTA

The European Commission asked the European Court of Justice to legally assess the legitimacy of the so much discussed anti-piracy agreement.

The controversial agreement is in the news again. The number of protests against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, to which twenty-two European countries, the United States, Japan and Canada have adhered thus far, has already reached unbelievable levels, because people keep trying to defend their freedom of expression on the worldwide web.

In their effort, the rights campaigners went as far as to ask the European Union’s highest court to find out whether the anti-piracy treaty respects the European basic human rights and freedoms. Meanwhile, the protests all over the world didn’t pass unnoticed – for instance, thanks to the protesters who took to the streets massively, a number of countries, including Denmark, Germany, and Bulgaria, have already officially withdrawn their support of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, at least till the moment when the European Union makes its final decision on the treaty. At the same time, the protests continue across the globe, and a range of other countries may follow the path of Germany or Bulgaria.

The treaty says that each country who has signed off the agreement is able to individually validate its terms and conditions. However, the importance of European support for an implementation of the legislation that complies with standards for copyright enforcement means apparently can’t be overlooked.

All we know right now is that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has been scheduled for debate in European Parliament this summer.

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