Germany last week joined several other European countries in deferring signing of ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), citing concerns from their justice ministry. They have joined the ranks of Poland, Slovakia, the Czech republic and Latvia in putting off ratification of the document.
The delay was announced ahead of planned mass protests across Europe (you can see where protests have taken place here) on 11 February. Poland had already seen large-scale protests, both from people in the street and from politicians, prior to Germany’s delay. Germany’s hesitation does not mean that the country will ultimately not sign off on ACTA, this is apparently being done to “…give us time to carry out further discussions“, according to a foreign ministry spokesperson.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a treaty that hopes to establish an international standard for IP (intellectual property) rights enforcement. It has already been signed by the US, Japan, Canada, Australia and several other countries. At least 22 members of the European Union have signed but the EU has yet to ratify the agreement.
BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16980451
via Gamepolitics: http://gamepolitics.com/2012/02/10/germany-latvia-delay-ratification-acta