By EDRi

European Digital Rights (EDRi) warmly welcomed today’s decision by the European Parliament to reject ACTA with an overwhelming majority (478 against, 39 in favour, 165 abstentions).

“ACTA was a bad proposal on every level. The drafting process was closed and undemocratic. The final text would have prevented a positive reform of Europe’s profoundly broken copyright system for years to come. Today’s victory is an important milestone for internet freedoms in Europe and cross the globe,” said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of EDRi.

What is most surprising about ACTA is the fact that it took so long to kill it. It has been attacked by every independent organisation that has issued an opinion – the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as a democracy watchdog, the European Economic and Social Committee as a voice for business, numerous NGOs around the world as a voice for civil society, jurists, academics as well as 13 winners of the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

And still, despite all of evidence to the contrary, the position of Commissioner De Gucht is not to think again, not to accept what is obvious to everyone except him, not even to accept the vote of the European Parliament.

“We have to pay huge tribute to the people who protested on the streets of Europe on those cold February days. EDRi and others worked for years on leaks, rumours and never-ending meetings with the Commission and Parliament. Citizens heard our warnings and demanded that the EU defend rights over monopolies, citizens over corporations, democracy over dogma. Thank you to all protesters for your part in an historic success.” added McNamee.