There was much rejoicing in the streets earlier this year when the European Parliament rejected ACTA, a multinational trade agreement that many felt would hurt online innovation in profound ways. There was one sliver of hope for ACTA's continued existence, however, as the European Commission submitted the treaty to the European Court of Justice for review. Now that last avenue of validation is gone.
The Register reports that the European Commission has pulled its request for the European Court of Justice to review ACTA. After pulling it, the commission stated that there was "no realistic chance" of the treaty ever gaining ground in Europe. The statement marks the official end of a fight against a treaty that Europeans fought tooth and nail against.
Although ACTA may be dead in Europe, the treaty lives in other nations around the world. The U.S. has claimed ACTA is a "sole executive agreement" that is binding after President Obama signed the treaty in late 2011 despite only Congress having the power to approve treaties. The treaty has not taken effect, however, and its death in Europe pretty much kills it in the U.S.
The treaty has, however, been ratified in one country. Back in September, Japan's House of Representatives ratified the treaty in the middle of the night so there would be no blowback from the country's citizens that are already prone to protests. The new conservative government that was just elected, however, may revisit the ratification.
Despite all of this, the ghost of ACTA still lingers in some parts of the world. Some of the worst parts of ACTA have made their way into CETA, or the Canada-European Trade Agreement. The treaty has faced little resistance, and it looks like it may pass by year's end.