A controversial global pact to battle counterfeiting and online piracy was dealt a new setback Thursday as a key European Parliament panel rejected the deal.
The international trade committee voted 19-12 against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), recommending that the full European Parliament bury the international pact next month.
Several European governments and lawmakers have voiced reservations about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) while protesters have marched against it in some cities, voicing fears it would curtail Internet freedoms.
Twenty-two of the 27 EU states as well as other countries, including the United States and Japan, signed ACTA in January but the treaty has yet to be ratified anywhere.
ACTA's aim is to beef up international standards for intellectual property protection, for example by doing more to fight counterfeit medicine and other goods. But its potential role in cyberspace has caused an outcry.
Explore further: Social media sackings risk stifling journalistic expression