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EU Parliament Rejects ACTA In a 663 To 13 Vote 477

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the good-news-everybody dept.
An anonymous reader writes "'The European Parliament defied the EU executive today (10 March), casting a vote against an agreement between the EU, the US and other major powers on combating online piracy and threatening to take legal action at the European Court of Justice.'"
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EU Parliament Rejects ACTA In a 663 To 13 Vote

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  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:27AM (#31426564) Homepage Journal

    Read draft leaked on March 1st [swpat.org] to know why.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:38AM (#31426708)

    Heh, this is a case where the inappropriately-effusive slashdot story is actually less exciting than the glum reality. This vote was a parliamentary resolution urging the European Commission to (among other things) fight the veil of secrecy that's kept ACTA out of the mainstream press for the most part. That's way cooler than "rejecting" some secret draft that we didn't know about anyway, and that would have been swiftly replaced with another secret draft.

  • they do have power. (Score:5, Informative)

    by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:40AM (#31426728) Homepage Journal

    since lisbon treaty last year, Eu parliament has the power. they canceled the swift agreement with usa that allowed cia, nsa to gather info about swift users.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:42AM (#31426746) Homepage Journal

    since lisbon treaty last year, ANYthing that is done by Eu commission has to be approved by parliament to be valid. Parliament can also cancel anything Eu commission did before they had to take their approval. Like the SWIFT bank transfer treaty that required eu to give out private about people doing bank transactions with u.s.

  • Not really... (Score:5, Informative)

    by teslar (706653) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:43AM (#31426752)

    I don't want to bring the mood down, but this is just a good summary of a bad article. The parliament did not vote against ACTA per se, they voted in favour of resolution RC-B7-0154/2010 [europa.eu]. Much better summary is the press release [europa.eu] from the parliament itself.

    In brief, they are mostly pissed off about the secrecy of the negotiations and lack of transparency. The resolution calls on the negotiations being made accessible to the public and the MEPs in a timely manner. So it's not against ACTA, it's against how negotiations are conducted. However, the resolution does also call out against the 3-strike rule and personal searches at EU borders. Regarding warrantless searches, they merely want a "clarification" of clauses that would allow such things.

  • Re:Good. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:45AM (#31426784)

    Except that the EU parliament has no real power (much like the British House of Lords).

    Well, the parliament is needed to pass laws. That is some power...

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @11:47AM (#31426820)

    http://www.votewatch.eu/ [votewatch.eu]

    Data isn't up yet though.

  • by Spad (470073) <slashdot@@@spad...co...uk> on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:01PM (#31427038) Homepage

    And even before that they could overturn a CoM decision with a 2/3 majority vote, which this is well in excess of.

  • Re:Wow - (Score:5, Informative)

    by digitig (1056110) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:04PM (#31427070)

    If we were to be highly sceptical we could point out that these guys weren't involved in the talks so could just be actioning their annoyance, or negotiating for their cut.

    You don't need to be cynical -- they specifically state that that's the issue. From the RA:

    In a statement released today, MEPs Lambrinidis (S&D, Greece), Castex (S&D, France), Alvaro (ALDE, Germany) and Roithova (EPP, Czech Republic) "deeply regret the fact that the Council is continuing its secretive stance, despite the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, which stipulates that the European Parliament should have full and immediate access to information at all stages of international negotiations".

    It's the secrecy that they're objecting to, not the content (which they don't -- officially -- know).

  • Re:Reality (Score:5, Informative)

    by Abcd1234 (188840) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:24PM (#31427356) Homepage

    Do you really believe that anything the EU does is going to prevent the US from rather forcibly letting the world know that the IP manuactured in the US isn't going to be passed around for free? Dream on. You are talking about a huge economy that is responsible for the well-being of nearly a half a billion people.

    Yeah:

    GDP (Nominal):
    EU - US $14.51 trillion (2009 est.)
    US - US $14.266 trillion (2009)

    Population:
    EU - 491,582,852 (July 2009 est.)
    US - 307,212,123 (July 2009 est.)

    Sorry buddy, the days are over when the US could unilaterally dictate it's whims to a fractured Europe. The EU has already surpassed the US in size and economic power, and the odds are very good that trend will continue.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:28PM (#31427412) Homepage Journal

    this is Eu parliament, not u.s. senate. when Euparl states a stance on some stuff, they are not compromised nomatter what. 3strikes, isp liability for piracy and so on, the stuff they have expressed stance against, cant be in any document that is put in front of them now, regardless of reason.

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:3, Informative)

    by steelfood (895457) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @12:52PM (#31427728)

    It is now. All of the "no" votes were from the UK and the Netherlands.

    Several abstains from the UK, but mostly from Italy, with two from Greece and France each.

    Various members from various countries (including those listed above) didn't vote.

    Now we know where the copyright money is going. To be honest, I wasn't surprised by the strong support of ACTA from the UK. But I am a little surprised by the "no" votes from the Netherlands.

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:22PM (#31428114)

    The British "no" votes were from the UK Independence Party, who advocate complete withdrawal from the EU.

    I guess this wasn't a vote in favour of secret ACTA negotiations, but part of a general policy of voting against everything. I might write to my local UKIP MEP and ask.

    The Netherlands votes are from NI or Non-Inscrits members, that is MEPs who aren't members of any political grouping. They may well be anti-EU MEPs too.

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:34PM (#31428226)

    To be honest, I wasn't surprised by the strong support of ACTA from the UK.

    You should. All UK votes for the ACTA treaty (all 10 of them) were from UKIP (UK Independence Party - they are anti-EU). Even Labour (who are the "brains" behind the Digital Economy Bill - ie the "All rights go to Big Media" Bill) voted unanimously to reject the treaty. "Strong UK Support" for ACTA is bollocks, as 55 UK MEPs voted to reject the treaty. On the other hand, this is slashdot, so UK bashing is an easy way to get mod points.

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:3, Informative)

    by mooingyak (720677) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @01:57PM (#31428522)

    Fun with statistics... 77% of the votes for ACTA came from the UK.

    On the other hand, this is slashdot, so UK bashing is an easy way to get mod points.

    I thought that was US bashing. I guess with UK not being mainland Europe and being heavily outnumbered by the US, UK bashing is safer.

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:2, Informative)

    by takowl (905807) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @02:11PM (#31428682)

    In more detail: the "no" votes from the UK were all members of the UK Independence Party [wikipedia.org], a right-wing* party whose main policy is that Britain shouldn't be in the EU at all.

    The Dutch "no" votes all seem to be from Partij voor de Vrijheit [wikipedia.org], (Party for Freedom), a right-wing Dutch party. I don't know much about them, but their leader, Geert Wilders [wikipedia.org] is a notorious right wing figure. He was once refused entry to the UK, although that was later overturned.

    *Right wing by British standards. I don't know what they'd look like in the US.

  • Re:Good. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Husgaard (858362) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @03:30PM (#31429710)

    They cannot do that now, as the Lisbon treaty is in effect. Since December last year Parliament has the power to block EU adaptation of international agreements like ACTA.

    And that will be the likely result, if the Commission does not listen to the Parliament.

    Because the Parliament members are pissed after a meeting last week where a Commission delegate said things that were completely in conflict with what the leaked ACTA papers (who all the MEPs had in front of them) said. Because the Parliament three times before has said no to 3-strikes, which the leaked papers propose in a foot-note. And because there currently is a battle between the Parliament and the Commission and Council of Ministers about the recently passed Lisbon Treaty which says that the Parliament has to be informed about results of the negotiations just as much as much as the Council of Ministers have been.

  • Re:The 13 votes (Score:4, Informative)

    by Petrushka (815171) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @04:52PM (#31430776)

    The full list of "no" voters, with voting history, contact details, etc.

    Netherlands
    Louis Bontes [votewatch.eu], Partij voor de Vrijheid
    Laurence J.A.J. Stassen [votewatch.eu], Partij voor de Vrijheid
    Daniel van der Stoep [votewatch.eu], Partij voor de Vrijheid

    UK
    John Stewart Agnew [votewatch.eu], UK Independence Party
    Marta Andreasen [votewatch.eu], UK Independence Party
    Gerard Batten [votewatch.eu], UK Independence Party
    John Bufton [votewatch.eu], UK Independence Party
    Trevor Coleman [votewatch.eu], UK Independence Party
    William, Earl of Dartmouth [votewatch.eu], UK Independence Party
    Nigel Farage [votewatch.eu], UK Independence Party
    Mike Nattrass [votewatch.eu], UK Independence Party
    Paul Nuttall [votewatch.eu], UK Independence Party
    Nicole Sinclaire [votewatch.eu], UK Independence Party

    All of the "no" voters are either independent of any EU parliament groups, or belong to the "Europe of Freedom and Democracy" group. Although the EFD group is officially pro-ACTA, of the 31 EFD members

    • 6 were not present
    • 8 abstained
    • 9 voted against ACTA
    • 8 voted in favour.

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