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Austria to hold off on ACTA ratification until EU decision

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(VIENNA) - Austria will hold off on ratifying the controversial anti-online piracy treaty ACTA until the European parliament has ruled on it, the interior ministry said Wednesday.

The announcement came after the European Commission said Wednesday it had asked the EU's highest court to rule on the legality of the treaty, which covers copyright, counterfeiting and Internet freedom.

Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner also welcomed the commission's decision, her spokesman said.

Representatives of 22 EU member states and the European Commission signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on January 26 in Tokyo but the treaty has yet to be ratified by the European parliament.

This was due to happen later this month.

Already, several EU states -- including Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania -- have said they will not ratify the pact, which critics say could curtail Internet freedom.

The 10 other countries that signed ACTA include the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia and South Korea.


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