The European Union's highest court to rule on ACTA anti-piracy agreement

24/02/2012 20:56

Source: BBC

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta) has been criticised by rights campaigners who argue it could stifle free expression on the internet.

EU trade head Karel De Gucht said the court will be asked to clarify whether the treaty complied with "the EU's fundamental rights and freedoms".

The agreement has so far been signed by 22 EU member states.

The European Commission said it "decided today to ask the European Court of Justice for a legal opinion to clarify that the Acta agreement and its implementation must be fully compatible with freedom of expression and freedom of the internet".

Several key countries, including Germany and Denmark, have backed away from the treaty amid protests in several European cities.

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