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04.07.2012

AU REVOIR ACTA!

Press release from SNP MEP Alyn Smith

SNP MEP Alyn Smith has today (Wednesday) hailed a landslide vote in the European Parliament to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The Parliament voted to refuse its consent to ACTA with a huge 478 against, 39 in favour.

Alyn said:

"I am delighted we have said goodbye to ACTA once and for all.

"The aim of the ACTA agreement, between the EU, the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Switzerland, is to strengthen the enforcement of intellectual property rights and to help to combat counterfeiting and piracy of goods such as clothing of luxury brands, music, and films. All of this is a worthy enough aim, but ACTA ignores what it was designed to achieve. We need to see improvement in the area of copyright and patent enforcement without the impairment of civil liberties and access to information and medicines.

"At EU-Level, ACTA would block much-needed reform of EU copywright law and instead lead to a heavy-handed and repressive enforecement of copywright with no regard to either the basic rights of citizens or the needs of European digital entrepreneurs.

"Intellectual property enforcement cannot entail a sweeping approach. There is a need to asses the different challenges.

"By voting against ACTA, we have effectively ended the prospect of the EU acceding to the treaty. It is fantantasic to see the European Parliament deliver the final blow."