ACTA Now Suspended in Austria, Too

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | February 22, 2012, Wednesday // 17:18
Bulgaria: ACTA Now Suspended in Austria, Too Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade give a press briefing on the Commission`s position on ACTA the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement at the EU commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium 22 February 2012. EPA/BGNES

Austria has halted its ratification of the controversial ACTA agreement until the European parliament has ruled on it, the country's Interior Ministry has announced.

Earlier on Wednesday, European Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht announced that the European Court of Justice, EU's highest court, has been asked to determine the validity of the agreement.

Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner also welcomed the commission's decision, her spokesman said.

Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania have also said they would not ratify ACTA.

ACTA, abbreviation for Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, mandates that signatory countries implement legislation to criminalize certain types of downloading content such as music and movies, from sites not sanctioned by rights owners, such as torrent trackers.

According to the agreement, such actions will be classified as similar to counterfeiting, and will carry heavier sanctions, including confiscation.

The treaty also will require Internet providers to provide information about the traffic of their users.

A total of 22 EU member states and 10 other countries, including the US, Japan, Canada, Australia and South Korea signed the agreement in Tokyo at the end of January.

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Tags: ACTA, Austria, Bulgaria, Karel De Gucht, anti-piracy, European Court of Justice
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