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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 24 April, 2014

Bulgarian minister pushes for delay on ACTA ratification

Bulgaria may join the growing list of EU countries delaying their ratification of the controversial ACTA legislation…

Anti-ACTA protesters in Warsaw, Poland at the weekend.
Anti-ACTA protesters in Warsaw, Poland at the weekend.
Image: AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski/PA Images

A MEMBER OF THE Bulgarian cabinet has said he will ask his government to suspend its ratification of the controversial EU copyright protection legislation known as ‘ACTA’.

Economy minister Traicho Traikov said today that he would push for the suspension until the EU has dealt with opposition to the legislation.

The European Commission says the legislation aims to harmonise international standards of copyright protection, particularly for products like films and music which are often pirated online. However, critics say that the legislation could curb internet freedom and freedom of expression.

Thousands of people turned out in European cities last week to protest the legislation.

Earlier today, Munster MEP Phil Prendergast criticised ACTA measures which would oblige ISPs to prevent copyright infringements, saying they raise serious concerns about the right to privacy, freedom of expression and the access to knowledge.

The Labour MEP said that ACTA was taken the wrong approach in its efforts to tackle copyright infringement.

“ACTA’s provisions on damage calculations in civil judicial disputes are also excessive and go beyond what is required under EU law,” she added.

So far, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have all held off on their ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The European Parliament has yet to ratify the legislation and is due to debate it later this year.

- Additional reporting by the AP

Gallery: Anti-ACTA protests held across Europe >

In pictures: Anti-ACTA protesters march in Dublin >

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