The European Parliament overwhelmingly defeated an international anti-piracy trade agreement Wednesday after concern that it would limit Internet freedom sparked street protests in cities across Europe.
The vote – 39 in favor, 478 against, with 165 abstentions – appeared to deal the death blow to the European Union’s participation in a treaty it helped negotiate, though other countries may still participate without the EU.
Supporters had maintained that ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, was needed to standardize the different national laws that protect the rights of those who produce music, movies, pharmaceuticals, fashion goods and other products that often fall victim to piracy and intellectual property theft. EU officials said, too, that protecting European ideas was essential to the economic growth the continent so badly needs.

The European Parliament overwhelmingly defeated an international anti-piracy trade agreement Wednesday after concern that it would limit Internet freedom sparked street protests in cities across Europe.

The vote – 39 in favor, 478 against, with 165 abstentions – appeared to deal the death blow to the European Union’s participation in a treaty it helped negotiate, though other countries may still participate without the EU.

Supporters had maintained that ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, was needed to standardize the different national laws that protect the rights of those who produce music, movies, pharmaceuticals, fashion goods and other products that often fall victim to piracy and intellectual property theft. EU officials said, too, that protecting European ideas was essential to the economic growth the continent so badly needs.

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