The European Parliament voted on Wednesday in Strasbourg by a majority of 478-39 (with 146 abstentions) against ACTA, the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement. ACTA was signed by the European Commission along with ten nations including the U.S., Canada and Japan to protect the copyright. But in the last weeks, protests of more than 100,000 people alone in Germany changed the public opinion in the EU. But in the German and Austrian music industry, there is great disappointment about the vote in Strasbourg.
Dr. Florian Drücke, managing director of the associations of the German phonographic industry (BVMI) in Berlin told Billboard: "We do very much regret the decision of the European parliament. A big chance to internationally protect intellectual property in Europe has been missed. In the open discussions about ACTA certain groups distributed wrong information and thus prevented the signing of the ACTA agreement. In countries such as Germany which have been mainly involved in the negotiations about ACTA, certain groups suddenly are opposing ACTA. This is not understandable. In the future we have to clearly state our positions for intellectual property and to fight for the protection of copyright law. This is the only way to answer any questions regarding the value of intellectual property."
Franz Medwenitsch, managing director of the association of the Austrian phonografic industry in Vienna said in a statement, "It was a great chance that has been missed to help the European creativity business to get a fair chance internationally. Too bad for European jobs and companies."
Federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger had the signature set from Germany but she wanted to wait for the decision of the European Parliament. After the vote she said: "It must be used to put a new procedure in motion, where these issues are on the table."