The European Parliament looks to have hammered the final nail in the coffin of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), as MEPs voted by an overwhelming majority to reject the contentious copyright proposals.
In a vote on Wednesday, 478 MEPs voted against the treaty with a paltry 39 in favour and 165 abstentions.
"I am very pleased that parliament has followed my recommendation to reject ACTA" said rapporteur David Martin.
Martin had previously criticised ACTA for being too vague and open to misinterpretation. But he added there was still a need for European officials to devise a mechanism to protect copyright holders.
The vote against ACTA was largely expected, after several European committees had savaged the proposals.
A petition with more than 2.8 million signatures was also presented to the parliament, calling on MEPs to reject ACTA.
The proposals had also sparked a firestorm of protest from citizens and rights groups. Those at the forefront of the protests welcomed the vote from the European Parliament.
“The ACTA victory must be the beginning of a new era, in which policy-makers put freedoms and the open internet – our common good – ahead of private interests,” said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesman for citizen advocacy group, La Quadrature du Net.
UK Pirate Party leader Loz Kaye was equally positive.
“I'm pleased the MEPs have listened to the millions of people who contacted them and came out on the streets to protest against ACTA, instead of being misled by the empty promises of industry lobbyists," he said.
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