Officials in Germany have delayed ratifying the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).
A report from AFP cites an official within the country's foreign ministry in reporting that the signing of the agreement was delayed so that officials could conduct "further discussions" on the matter.
The delay marks the second time this week in which ACTA has suffered a major setback in Europe. Poland also canceled its plans to sign up to the agreement after citizens staged mass protests.
Germany and Poland are among a handful of EU member organisations which have yet to add their names to the list of ACTA signatories. The European Commission last month signed upto the agreement along with 12 other nations.
Among those who have already ratified ACTA in Europe are France, Spain, Italy and the UK. Globally, ACTA's backers include Japan, the US and Australia.
Despite international support, the act itself has been the target of massive protests both online and in the physical world.
Groups such as Anonymous have mobilised against the attack, organising large-scale protests focused on nations which have recently signed or are looking to join up with ACTA.
Government officials have also spoken out against the anti-piracy bill. In January, an EU investigator resigned in protest after condemning the agreement as "problematic" for civil rights and industries such as generic drug manufacturing.
While the US has long been a supporter of ACTA, anti-piracy laws in the country have become a matter of heated debate following the introduction of the SOPA and PIPA digital piracy bills.
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