BRUSSELS — The European Parliament rejected a global agreement against copyright theft on Wednesday, handing a victory to protesters who said the legislation was an international version of the U.S. SOPA legislation that spurred on the Wikipedia blackout protest this January.
The vote marked the culmination of a two-year battle between legislators who supported the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and its largely young, digitally savvy opponents.
Tens of thousands of activists held rallies across Europe in February to protest against the law, which they said would curb their freedom and allow officials to spy on their online activities. About 2.5 million signed a petition against ACTA.
European Parliament lawmakers voted against the agreement by 478 to 39 with 165 abstentions, meaning the proposed law will have to be renegotiated by the European Commission, the EU’s executive.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz said in a statement after the vote that…
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