Germany to postpone its vote on ACTA

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, has been receiving more attention from the media and the general public lately, thanks in part to the massive Internet protests against the US-based SOPA and PIPA bills. Like SOPA and PIPA, ACTA was written in part to try to combat online piracy but opponents have claimed the act is too broadly written and will result in blocked web sites.

In January, Poland voted to pass ACTA but some lawmakers in that country chose to protest the passage by wearing Guy Fawkes masks in Parliament. Now it looks like ACTA is starting to lose support in the European Union. ZDNet UK reports that Germany has chosen not to vote on ACTA until sometime after the European Parliament votes on the proposal. That's scheduled to happen sometime in June.

In addition a few other European countries, including Poland, have signed ACTA but have yet to actually ratify the agreement. The European Union's rules state that if just one country in the union doesn't both sign and ratify ACTA, the treaty cannot be enforced in the Union. The fact that a number of countries are now holding off on those decisions could mean that ACTA is dead in the water in Europe. The US and other countries have already signed the ACTA treaty.

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