[TheGuardian] Acta approval stalled by European commission

Approval of the controversial international anti-counterfeiting treaty Acta has been stalled by the European commission, which is to ask Europe's highest court whether implementing it would violate any fundamental EU rights.

The decision comes as the treaty faces growing opposition in parliaments, city streets and the internet, with some countries including Germany, the Netherlands and Poland declaring they would not approve the agreement in its current form – a stance that would make it impossible to ratify, because it requires every European country to sign up and approve it. [...]

The decision to refer the treaty to the ECJ appears to reflect recognition by EU officials of the political obstacles Acta faces. Earlier this month protesters marched against the agreement in several European capitals including London, Berlin, Helsinki, Paris and Vienna. Internet lobbyists and health campaigners have rallied against it, saying that overly strict controls of copyright would exclude people from the internet and prevent developing countries from accessing generic medicines. [...]

"No legal debate can fix Acta or give it a legitimacy that by design it cannot have," said Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of the internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.