Today's rejection of the controversial ACTA anti-counterfeiting treaty by the European Parliament has been welcomed by Plaid MEP Jill Evans, who voted against the agreement.
There are widespread civil liberties concerns related to the proposed treaty and fears that it will do more harm than good in efforts to deal with copyright infringement in Europe. In particular, some of its provisions could curtail internet freedom, and lead to the arbitrary denial of internet access without a proper legal process.
ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is a multinational treaty between the European Union, the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Switzerland. It's stated aim is to strengthen the enforcement of intellectual property rights and combat counterfeiting and piracy of goods including music and films, but is has attracted widespread opposition from civil liberties groups.
The European Parliament would have to give its consent in order for the agreement to enter into force.
Commenting after the European Parliament rejected ACTA, Jill Evans, President of Plaid Cymru, said:
"Adopting the ACTA agreement as it stands would have done more harm than good on several levels. Tackling serious cases of copyright infringement is important, but ACTA would actually have undermined efforts to achieve this at EU level.
"There were also very serious concerns about civil liberties, and the negative impact on internet freedom, as well as the potentially heavy handed approach with everyday users of copyright material.
"I'm pleased that the European Parliament has stood up to pressure from big business and rejected this flawed agreement. It's a victory for democracy and for the consumer."