Acta: Germany delays signing anti-piracy agreement

Acta protest The anti-piracy proposals have prompted protests across Europe

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Germany has halted signing a controversial anti-piracy accord, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta), after the justice ministry voiced concerns.

A foreign ministry spokesperson told AFP that the delay was to "give us time to carry out further discussions".

Latvia put off ratification on Friday. Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have already delayed the process.

International protests against the agreement are expected on Saturday.

The Associated Press reports Germany's that Justice ministry believes the legislation is unnecessary in Germany and that the European Parliament should vote on Acta before the country considers it for ratification.

Anti-Acta websites currently list more than 50 protests scheduled to take place across Germany on Saturday.

Last week about 2,000 people marched in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana against Acta.

In Janurary thousands of protestors took to the streets in Poland.

Measures within Acta to tackle online piracy have proven particularly controversial.

Previously "Hacktivists" claiming to act on behalf of Anonymous have attacked official websites supporting the international agreement.

Supporters of the treaty argue that the measures are necessary to clamp down on growing levels of piracy.

The treaty has yet to be ratified by the European Parliament.

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