ACTA Defeated in EU Parliament
European Parliament Kicks ACTA to the Curb
The EU Parliament has voted down ACTA, the overreaching copyright treaty dictated by American groups such as the MPAA. ACTA is dead in Europe, and support for it is crumbling elsewhere in the world. Without Europe, there effectively is no ACTA.
In a 478-39 vote, the EU said no to ACTA. The threats to democracy and free speech were deemed to great a cost for what is essentially corporate-authored legislation.
As you see in the image below, many MEPs held signs reading, "Hello Democracy, Goodbye ACTA".
Many thought ACTA was a sure thing: groups like the MPAA and the RIAA have a way of getting what they want. However, the defeat of SOPA and PIPA in the United States showed that such corporate victory is not a given.
The demise of SOPA/PIPA emboldened European internet activists, who mobilized against ACTA. There was a clear opportunity here for European politicians to reject a piece of foreign legislation while building street cred as 21st-Century leaders. The vast majority MEPs took that opportunity.
In theory, ACTA could still come into force between the United States and a number of smaller states. Ten states have been negotiating it, and six of those need to ratify it to have it come into force. In theory, this could become a treaty between the United States, Morocco, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland. (But wait, the Mexican Senate has already rejected ACTA. As has Australia and Switzerland in practice. Oh well… a treaty between the United States and Morocco, then, in the unlikely event that the United States will actually and formally ratify it. You can see where this is going.)