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A large group of European nations signed ACTA two weeks ago, sparking outrage across the continent. But not all European nations signed onto the agreement. Several countries, including Germany, had not finished their internal processes for approving the treaty, but vowed to sign on shortly.
But on Friday, the German government signaled it was having second thoughts. According to Spiegel, the German government now plans to wait and see how the European Parliament votes before Germany makes a decision on the treaty itself.
Germany’s move comes on the heels of a similar move in Poland last week. As we reported then, the treaty must be approved by all 27 member states in order to go into effect anywhere in Europe. Germany is one of the wealthiest and most populous nations in Europe, so its move is likely to have a big impact on the handful of other European nations that have not signed onto the treaty.
Germany’s change of heart was likely influenced by the growing grassroots backlash against the copyright treaty. Organizers are planning ACTA protests in 200 cities across Europe on Saturday.
The United States has already signed ACTA. The Obama administration has argued that because ACTA is an “executive agreement” and does not require changing US law, it does not need to be submitted to the Senate for ratification.
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