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Brussels blog by some wire service journalists

EU, facing opposition, suspends ratification of copyright treaty

By DON MELVIN

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission, facing opposition in city streets, on the Internet and in the halls of parliament, has suspended efforts to ratify a new international anti-counterfeiting agreement, and instead will refer it to Europe’s highest court to see whether it violates any fundamental EU rights.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht asserted Wednesday that an opinion from the European Court of Justice would clear away the fog of misinformation surrounding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, known as ACTA.

“This debate must be based upon facts and not upon the misinformation or rumor that has dominated social media sites and blogs in recent weeks,” De Gucht told reporters in Brussels.

The decision appeared to reflect recognition by European Union officials of the political obstacles. Protests against the agreement were staged earlier this month in several European capitals — including Berlin, Helsinki, Paris and Vienna — by critics who say the agreement would stifle free speech and access to information.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

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Don Melvin

Slobodan Lekic

Raf Casert

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