updated 11:45 am EST, Fri February 10, 2012
Germany to wait for EU decision on ACTA
Germany is holding off on joining 22 other EU member states in signing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Spiegel Online reported. It has changed its mind, as it previously said it would join. The failure of Germany, Europe's largest economic contributor, to sign the agreement is a huge stumbling block. The powers-that-be in German are said to be holding off on a decision until the EU Parliament makes its own decision in the matter.
That vote is scheduled for June. While ACTA is supported by many countries, including most of Europe and Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US, it is controversial and met with many protests. The arguments against it include that it will restrict access to medicines, limit freedom of expression, and damage culture and knowledge. These protesters and many others see ACTA as little more than a glorified copyright law.
Many are concerned that the agreement would virtually mandate laws similar to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in signing states as well as otherwise bring rules lobbied for by American music and movie studios to the rest of the world without citizens' consent. [via TechDirt]