What comes next?
In theory, ACTA could still come into force between the United States and a number of smaller states. Ten states have been negotiating it, and six of those need to ratify it to have it come into force. In theory, this could become a treaty between the United States, Morocco, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland. (But wait, the Mexican Senate has already rejected ACTA. As has Australia and Switzerland in practice. Oh well… a treaty between the United States and Morocco, then, in the unlikely event that the United States will actually and formally ratify it. You can see where this is going.)
As described before on TorrentFreak, without the support of the European Union, ACTA is dead. Doesn’t exist.
The European Commissioner responsible for the treaty, Karel de Gucht, has said that he will ignore any rejections and re-table it before the European Parliament until it passes. That’s not going to happen. Parliament takes its dignity very seriously and does not tolerate that kind of contempt, fortunately. This is something relatively new in the history of the European Union’s democracy – the first time I saw Parliament stand up for its dignity was during the Telecoms Package, where the Commission also tried to ram through three-strikes provisions. (Instead, Parliament made “three strikes” schemes illegal in the entire European Union.)
That said, many of the bad things in ACTA will return under other names. For the lobbyists, this is a nine-to-five job of jabbing against the legislation until it gives way. Just another day at work. We need to remain vigilant against special interests who will return again, again, and again, until we make sure that the legislative road for them is completely blocked. We must remain watchful.
But not today.
Today, we celebrate a job extraordinarily well done.
Today, on July 4, Europe celebrates a day of independence from American special interests.
Today, we stood up for our most basic rights against corporate giants, and won.
Congratulations to all of us, and thanks to all brothers and sisters on the barricades across the world who made this happen.
(This article is also posted on falkvinge.net.)
About The Author
Rick Falkvinge is a regular columnist on TorrentFreak, sharing his thoughts every other week. He is the founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party, a whisky aficionado, and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. His blog at falkvinge.net focuses on information policy.
The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.