In just five dramatic minutes, the European Parliament has killed off ACTA, the so-called Anti- counterfeiting trade agreement. In a resounding vote in the last half hour, the entire Parliament voted by 478 votes to 39 to decline its consent to ACTA. This means that the ACTA may not be ratified in Europe, and effectively means it is dead in the water. The rapporteur, David Martin, spoke of

giving ACTA the last rites, and allowing its supporters, the rights-holders and the US government, to mourn.

It certainly was an exciting five minutes, for that was all it took. In the President's chair was Alejo Vidal Quadras, who had chaired the Telecoms Package Conciliation committee in the Third Reading.(see  Telecoms Package sealed, but not with a kiss ). He would ave been well aware of the implications of this vote.

An intervention by the right of the Parliament, namely Christofer Fjellner of the EPP group to get the vote postponed until after the ruling by the European Court of Justice, was quashed by a huge  majoirity - 644 in favour. It's interesting that Fjellner, formerly a pro-active MEP in favour of Internet users rights, was asking for this. Technically, Mr Fjellner's motion asked to put the whole matter of ACTA back to the INTA committee until after the ECJ has ruled.

 Klaus-Heine Lehne, also EPP and German, spoke in favour of Mr Fjellner's motion. The rapporteur, David Martin, spoke against Mr Fjellner's motion.

 And so the European Parliament proceeded to vote directly on Davd Martin's recommendation, which was that the Parliament should decline its consent to ACTA. The hemicycle was full with 682 MEPs present. 165 abstained - they would have been ECR and EPP. The majority was 478 with only 39 against.

 After the vote, a small group of MEPs held up posters saying "hello democracy, good-bye ACTA'.

 The European Commission was given the opportunity to respond. The response was made by a deputy. Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht did not  show up. Perhaps it was just as well. The hoots - unusually discourteous for the European Parliament - would have been uncomfortable listening.

Congrats are in order for the guys at La Quadrature du Net and Edri who co-ordinated the ACTA campaign in Europe.

 This is an original article from Iptegrity.com. You may re-publish it under a Creative Commons licence, but you should cite my name and provide a link back to iptegrity.com.  Media and Academics – please cite as Monica Horten,Wow what a scorcher! ACTA slaughtered 478 to 39 , in www.iptegrity.com,  3rd July   2012 . Commercial users - please contact me.