updated 01:10 pm EST, Thu January 26, 2012
ACTA trade agreement signed by 22 EU members
The EU and 22 of its member states have signed on to support the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in Tokyo on Thursday. The deed was met with both online and street protests, however, as many who aren't copyright holders believe the trade agreement to be nothing more than a new copyright law. Five countries part of the EU who haven't signed up for ACTA include Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Slovakia.
The treaty is otherwise supported by Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and the US. The EU ambassador to Japan sated ACTA aims to help members better protect intellectual property rights.
The European Parliament vote on ACTA is due for June, and European advocacy group La Quadrature du Net is asking concerned citizens to speak out against the bill by contacting their members of parliament.
Protestors argue the enactment of ACTA will affect their freedom of expression, restrict access to medicines, and have a damaging effect on culture and knowledge. [via Wired]