The European Parliament has overwhelmingly defeated the international the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, after fears that it would limit Internet freedom mobilised broad opposition across Europe.

The vote on Wednesday was 39 in favour, 478 against, with 165 abstentions.

The defeat means that, as far as the E.U. is concerned, the treaty is dead at least for the moment though other countries may participate. A spokesman for the European Commission, the E.U.’s executive arm, said it may try again after it obtains a court ruling on whether the agreement violates fundamental E.U. rights.

Supporters said ACTA was needed to standardise international laws that protect the intellectual property rights. Opponents feared it would lead to censorship and a loss of privacy on the Internet.


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