ACTA Dominoes Are Falling: Germany Says It Won't Sign For Now

The news just broke: Germany says it will not be signing ACTA for the time being.

The news (Spiegel, Netzpolitik) seems to cast the future of ACTA into serious doubt. The accord requires signatures and ratification from all 27 of the European member states as well as from the European Parliament itself.

It started with Poland announcing a hold to the ACTA ratification, which – just like that – put the whole agreement in doubt. Few people seem to know this, but Poland is a heavyweight in the European Union’s policymaking.

That was followed by the Slovenian Ambassador apologizing in public for her signature on the agreement, saying she had failed in her civic duty, and calling for anti-ACTA rallies, which is profoundly unique.

Since then, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Latvia have stepped forward and said they’re putting ratification on hold.

With Germany – the European Union’s superpower, by far the heaviest politically – now saying that it won’t even sign ACTA for the time being, much less ratify it, it looks like we can actually win this fight and kill ACTA dead in the water.

And let’s be clear: while the US and Japan could theoretically have ACTA between them, without the European Union, there is effectively no ACTA at all.

Tomorrow, there are anti-ACTA rallies all over europe. This is one seriously impressive map of rallies:

Tomorrow, rallies all over Europe demand freedom of speech and protest laws that were made in backroom deals by corporate executives.

It makes me proud to see people rising up and demanding their civil liberties to apply even when they’re on the net. In history, it will probably seem amazing how, for a time, that seemed to not be obvious.

(Meanwhile in Sweden, the government officials are going to extremes to deny any and all interviews concerning ACTA. We’ll have to see how long that can hold.)

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. Joop

    Great news! That is one impressive list of countries where support for ACTA is wavering. Hopefully, after the protest tomorrow, we can add The Netherlands to the list!

  2. Justus Römeth

    As great as it is, the government just said ‘for now’. They are clearly stalling, ACTA is long from dead. They mainly did it to discredit the demonstrations planned in Germany.

    1. Erik

      Either that, or the government is just practicing diplomacy towards other nations still pro-ACTA.

      This proving to be a false move to still the German protesters would mean risking a considerable amount of voters in upcoming elections, imo. East Berlin style, baby, wir sind das Volk. ;D

    2. Scary Devil Monastery

      There is some hope here – the german minister of Justice is the same lady who dragged the data retention directive to the german constitutional courts and got it abolished.

      She is one of the few politicians in this mess I consider giving a lot of credibility.

  3. […] that Germany is postponing the signing, not to mention the ratification of ACTA. This is good news. As more countries are wavering in their support for ACTA, the future of this agreement becomes less and less secure. That is something to be happy about, […]

  4. Fredrik

    Didn’t Germany already sign ACTA in Japan, together with the rest of the EU?

    1. Justus Römeth

      No, there were 5 nations that didn’t sign, among them Germany (and I think Slovakia)

      1. Justus Römeth

        But they said it was for technical/legal reasons and they wanted to sign as fast as possible, not because they doubted the agreement.

    2. Rick Falkvinge

      22 of the 27 EU member states signed in Japan.

      1. Joop

        These countries have signed, as far as I know:
        Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Denmark,Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Luxemburg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.


  5. ACTA update III: We are winning! « The Science of Destruction

    […] The power of the Internet community is manifesting itself again as several European countries have started backtracking on the ACTA ratification process. In the latest news, Germany has announced that it won’t be signing the treaty for the time being. Germany is one of the five EU countries yet to sign, and naturally as an economic superpower it holds the key to the whole ratification process within the EU. Earlier, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Latvia have also put the treaty on hold. If the EU drops out of ACTA, which is looking more and more likely by the day, that will probably mean death for the whole treaty as Rick Falkvinge points out. […]

  6. Nemo

    Does anyone has a list of the people’s representative who has signed ACTA last month ?
    I looked for it but didn’t managed to find. I would like to contact this person (in Belgium for me) to ask the same thing that the Slovenian Ambassador did… We should all do this !

  7. […] Det här inlägget postades i Stoppa ACTA, Stoppa Internetcensuren, stoppa-ipredlagen av jesus. Bokmärk permalänken. […]

  8. ANNM

    As far as I can make out from the Spiegel article they are saying that they will not sign it until after the ratification vote in the European parliament. This makes it even more important to keep up the pressure on MEPs, and of course also national MPs in member states where it has not been ratified yet.

  9. Only me

    Romanias official said it to be new decision when new leader in place – not close to sign.

    A new modified will come, until it passes.
    DEMAND a new treaty, with politicians only and as open and transparent as possible.
    Not the one drafted in dark alleys with who knows.

    Democracy isn’t the hardest of demands?

  10. Putte

    The German government is probably afraid of the pirates in Berlin.

    1. piratgurra

      They probably are (and they should be). The Piratenpartei have demonstrations all over the country today. 🙂

    2. LennStar

      Less Berlin, but more Saarland (votes 25. March) and whatever-english-name in May.
      If Pirates get seats in the 2 states, the whole power structure in germany will be redistributed.

      1. piratgurra

        It’s vote for the “Landstag” Schleswig-Holstein 6th of May.

  11. Bojan

    One small victory out of many more to come against Copyright Fascists!

  12. […] followed by Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia, and yesterday Europe’s largest economy Germany backpedaled as […]

  13. […] followed by Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia, and yesterday Europe’s largest economy Germany backpedaled as […]

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Just came back from a protest in my home town, and I’m eagerly awaiting your comments on today’s protests. I think that you have an amazing ability to actually say what a lot of us think, but don’t know how to say. Keep up the good work! Cheers.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Hi AC,

      Thanks for the kind words, but I’m knocked out at the moment from a really nasty cold that I probably caught while rallying in Stockholm this past Saturday. I’ll resume writing soon, but today, I’ll need to focus on getting back to fight another day.

      Thank you for your inspiring words, though. They are enormously helpful in inspiring me to keep going.


      (I’m eating pure vitamin C here to fight the cold – ascorbic acid in crystal form. It’s so sour it makes your gums curl on themselves. Tastes something akin to cold-pressed goat.)

      1. LennStar

        Rick, too much Vitamin C is dangerous, and doesn’t help. It also doesn’t help *after* you got a cold as far as I know.

        Vitamin C (etc.) are 95% corporate money-making. With normal eating habits you do *not* need anything additional (people lived without it for millions of years, right?). Vegan could use some Bx and propably iron, that is all.

        btw: hint: We talked about a video you said you would make 2 weeks ago together with another.

        1. Rick Falkvinge

          Yup, I made the video but just didn’t process it into MPEG4, which is a fairly easy deal. Where do I send it? Your email address, through or similar?


      2. Scary Devil Monastery

        There’s currently a mycoplasma pandemic running hogwild through Stockholm which has placed a third of the workforce flat on their back. If that’s what you’ve got you’ll be stuck with that “cold” for months with recurring bouts resembling individual colds.

        Too much vitamin C will only stress your system. Generally speaking, as LennStar has it, you should receive enough from most ordinary everyday sources. If your diet is one-sided over long periods, the occasional general mineral supplement will do no harm.

        Other than that…great news regarding the fact that some governments are waking up to the ACTA lunacy.

        1. ANNM

          What? If a third of the adult population is calling in sick, why haven’t I read about it in the papers?

        2. Scary Devil Monastery


          Ack! managed to drop a few words – Workforce on my job is down 33%, that should be.

  15. […] followed by Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia, and yesterday Europe’s largest economy Germany backpedaled as […]

  16. […] followed by Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia, and yesterday Europe’s largest economy Germany backpedaled as […]

  17. LennStar

    More than 100.000on the streets in Germany!

    1. piratgurra

      Awesome! 🙂 What is slightly less awesome is the complete lack of coverage in Swedish privately owned media. Only state owned TV (SVT) reported on it as far as I know… And then the numbers were more like “tens of thousands”.

  18. […] followed by Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia, and yesterday Europe’s largest economy Germany backpedaled as […]

  19. […] in, followed by Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia, and yesterday Europe’s largest economy Germany backpedaled as well. Within the European Parliament, whose members will vote on the ratification ACTA later […]

  20. […] on, and countless governments have been pressured by the US to sign the agreement – though Germany, Poland, Slovenia and many others are now finally realising the legislation’s much wider implications for freedom of speech and […]

  21. […] in, followed by Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia, and yesterday Europe’s largest economy Germany backpedaled as […]

  22. Massive Street Protests Wage War On ACTA Anti-Piracy Treaty

    […] […]

  23. Joop

    The Dutch national Parliament has just accepted a motion not to sign ACTA until it is “abundantly clear” that the agreement is not in conflict with the European declaration of the rights of man.

  24. Die ACTA Polizei ist da | Schönes Neues 1984

    […] ist das ACTA Domino (aus welchem Film ist das Bild?) welches derzeit ganz Europa umwirft, die HolländerInnen haben […]

  25. Funny Cat Images

    Wow, that

  26. […] hold” for the time being. Poland was followed by a number of other member states, but once Germany said the same thing, ACTA was effectively on hold. Poland and Germany together cannot be overruled; […]

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