Following the postponing of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act legislation earlier this year, the European Parliament has now rejected a similar agreement called ACTA.
are measures that would give the U.S. government and copyright holders the ability to block U.S. internet users from accessing sites accused of primarily being dedicated to copyright and trademark infringement.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, is the international equivalent of SOPA and contains many of the same flaws, as it seeks to combat copyright infringement online, as well as counterfeit goods and medicine. The proposed agreement caused protests and "black outs"
earlier this year.
The European Parliament today rejected ACTA, stating that it cannot become law in the EU. This marks the first time that the EU Parliament has exercised its Lisbon Treaty power to reject an international trade agreement.
Overall, 478 members of the European Parliament voted against ACTA, while 39 were in favor, and 165 abstained from the vote.
This call came as more than 2.8 million people worldwide signed a petition urging the EU Parliament to reject ACTA, and the Parliament experienced "unprecedented direct lobbying" from citizens via emails to MEPs and calls to their offices.
Rapporteur David Martin stressed that, while he was "very pleased that Parliament has followed my recommendation to reject ACTA," alternative ways to protect intellectual property in the EU still need to be found.
Game developers throughout the industry let out a sigh of relief
when SOPA and PIPA were put on indefinite hold, though some argued the fight for online freedom is far from over.