[Washingtonpost] EU, facing opposition, suspends ratification of copyright treaty, refers to Court of Justice

The European Commission, facing opposition in city streets, on the Internet and in the halls of parliament, has suspended efforts to ratify a new international anti-counterfeiting agreement, and instead will refer it to Europe’s highest court to see whether it violates any fundamental EU rights. [...]

The decision appeared to reflect recognition by European Union officials of the political obstacles. Protests against the agreement were staged earlier this month in several European capitals — including Berlin, Helsinki, Paris and Vienna — by critics who say the agreement would stifle free speech and access to information. [...]

The treaty has been questioned by members of the European Parliament. On Sunday, European Parliament President Martin Schulz told Germany’s ARD television: “I don’t find it good in its current form.” [...]

No legal debate can fix ACTA or give it a legitimacy that by design it cannot have,” said Jeremie Zimmermann, co-founder of the Internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.