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European Parliament strikes down ACTA in significant vote

07/04, 8:54pm

MEPs vote 478 to 39 against controversial anti-piracy measure

ACTA has been rejected by the European Parliament in a vote today. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was soundly defeated, with 39 parliament members voting for the agreement, 478 against, and 165 abstentions. The move against the motion practically kills the agreement in its current form, with many critics suggesting it cannot be revived no matter how many amendments are made to it.

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European rapporteur tells EU not to ratify ACTA

04/16, 11:20am

ACTA may be rejected outright if Euro advice taken

The US' attempts to push the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) were dealt a possible hit after new European Parliament rapporteur David Martin published (PDF) a recommendation that the representatives for European Union's member states reject the bill. Echoing the same sentiments that led his predecessor to quit in protest, he saw the "vagueness" of the bill as being overreaching. Whatever advantages it would have in clamping down on piracy would be "far outweighed" by curbs on civil rights, Martin said.

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EU freezes ACTA ratification over possible rights violations

02/22, 12:00pm

EU passes ACTA onto European Court of Justice

The European Commission reacted to mounting pressure Wednesday by at least temporarily halting plans to ratify the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) proposal, choosing to pass it to the European Court of Justice for inspection. The continent's high court will decide if ACTA violates fundamental EU rights. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht took a balanced position, wanting neither to accept media labels' views at face value nor act based on preconceptions held by some of those protesting the measure.

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Study: BitTorrent piracy not hurting movie exports

02/10, 8:55pm

Study says artificial movie release windows hurt

A joint research paper from the Departments of Economics at both Wellesley College (Brett Danaher) and the University of Minnesota (Joel Waldfogel) has suggested that BitTorrent movie rips and other Internet piracy wasn't hurting movies after they were exported to other countries. In instances where a US movie hadn't been pirated in advance of its international release, revenue from the movie was typically seven percent lower than it was when those abroad could bootleg the material. US sales also didn't necessarily go down with torrents in effect, the authors found.

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Germany freezes ACTA signing over concerns

02/10, 11:45am

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.

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European Parliament ACTA overseer quits over shady tactics

01/26, 6:30pm

ACTA rapporteur says EU process a masquerade

The European Union's chief investigator for the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Kader Arif, may have blown the whistle on tactics behind the deal in a statement following his resignation. He quit after calling it a "masquerade" and confirmed many of the beliefs that the EU Parliament's signing of ACTA wasn't a representative process. The political right in the EU "rushed" the measure in the hopes of keeping it out of the public eye, Arif said, and Parliament itself was being kept from trying to offer any criticism.

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European Union and 22 members sign ACTA

01/26, 1:10pm

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.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership would try to take DMCA worldwide

03/11, 4:45pm

US concocts TPP rules that mimic ACTA laws

The US government is attempting to bring a renamed version of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that aims to fight piracy to countries such as Australia, Brunei, Chile, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), its intellectual property content is drafted by the US. It follows the DMCA's laws regarding digital locks, ISP liability and subscriber disconnections, but adds a number of its own rules.

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MPAA, RIAA want AV software with anti-piracy scanning

04/15, 3:45pm

MPAA and RIAA hope users turn in themselves

The MPAA and RIAA have sent a response to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator that would call for software to spy on users for potential piracy. Answering a request for comments, the music and movie studios would like antivirus software to include tools for "managing copyright infringement" and block or report copyrighted material it finds.

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Piracy up in France despite three strikes law

03/12, 10:25am

French Hadopi law simply forced pirates elsewhere

France's three strikes anti-piracy law has actually increased the amount of piracy in the country, a new study has revealed. Despite the threat of being permanently disconnected from the Internet in the country, frequent downloaders increased their activity 3 percent since the law, also known as Hadopi, passed last fall. While BitTorrent use did drop from 17.1 percent to 14.6 percent, any who gave up torrents simply moved to streams or to private hosts using uploaders, which are difficult if not impossible to track with current methods.

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ACTA terms may force ISP anti-piracy, 3 strikes rules

11/04, 11:35am

ACTA may force tight global restrictions

A leaked set of proposals for the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) suggests the international deal will require harsh online anti-piracy measures. The draft will reportedly force Internet providers in all member states to actively police copyright on their networks. To qualify for safe harbor and reduce their liability, the ISPs would also have to implement "gradual response" rules like France's three-strike law that initially warn and eventually punish those said pirating content, likely forcing them offline.

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Canadian Copyright Act changes tabled, softened

06/12, 2:00pm

Can. Copyright Act tabled

The Canadian government's Industry Minister, Jim Prentice, has today officially tabled Bill C-61, a set of proposed amendments to the country's Copyright Act. Early versions of the changes have been criticized by thousands of citizens -- and a number of businesses and other organizations -- as overly harsh, and too close in nature to the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Prentice has defended amendments as necessary for bringing compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organization treaty Canada signed in 1996.

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