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FSF 'firm, simple' declaration takes aim at ACTA

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 17 Jun 2010 20:59 User comments (2)

FSF 'firm, simple' declaration takes aim at ACTA The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is inviting everyone who is opposed to the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA), or to provisions of ACTA (or how it is being negotiated) to support a "firm, simple declaration against ACTA." People can sign the declaration which includes 11 demands about ACTA if it is to be implemented, or provides an alternative of abandoning ACTA entirely.
The FSF does not want to seem opposed to the Wellington Declaration however, but a post from Richard Stallman of FSF does point out some details about it that he "cannot put his name to." New Zealand citizens held a public meeting dubbed PublicACTA to criticize a secret meeting of government representatives. The attendees published the Wellington Declaration (which you can sign), calling on the negotiators to reject several injustices suspected to appear in the controversial treaty.

Stallman however points out that while the Wellington Declaration condemns the plan for ACTA to prohibit devices that can break digital restrictions (DRM, digital handcuffs etc.), it goes ahead to suggest instead that a limited prohibition, along the lines of Article 11 of the WIPO Internet Treaty. This would result in government backing being given to certain kinds of digital handcuffs, according to Stallman, and he is concerned that to accept that much without a fight would tempt ACTA negotiators to try for "more."

He also takes issue with the declaration's praise of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as a "public, inclusive and transparent" forum for negotiation agreements about copyrights and other related issued. "I don't recall seeing WIPO become a force for good in the world," Stallman comments.

He especially takes issue with WIPO's use of the term "intellectual property," which he views largely as propaganda. "WIPO treaties about copyright in recent decades have specifically targeted the freedom of people who use published works," he writes. "To transfer the ACTA negotiations to WIPO would perhaps make the result less bad, but would hardly ensure it is good. Let us not ask to be taken out of the fire and put back into the frying pan."

So what does the firm, simple declaration against ACTA contain? Here it is in its entirety.
Support a firm, simple declaration against ACTA
  • ACTA must respect sharing and cooperation: it must do nothing that would hinder the unremunerated noncommercial making, copying, giving, lending, owning, using, transporting, importing or exporting of any objects or works.
  • ACTA must not weasel about what is commercial: no labeling of any noncommercial activities as somehow commercial-like or treating them as if they were commercial.
  • ACTA must not tighten digital handcuffs: it must not hinder any activity in regard to any product on account of its capacity to circumvent technical measures that restrict use of copies of works of authorship.
  • ACTA must not interfere with individuals' noncommercial use of the Internet (whether or not carried out using commmercial Internet services) or undermine individuals' right or ability to connect to the Internet.
  • ACTA must not require anyone to collect or release any data about individuals' use of the Internet. It must not harm privacy rights or other human rights.
  • ACTA must not hold the companies that implement the Internet responsible for the substance of their customers' communications. (For example, no punishment by disconnection, neither explicitly required or indirectly compelled.)
  • ACTA must not require copyright or patents, or any law similar to one of those, to attach to any particular sort of thing or idea.
  • ACTA must not make any requirements about what acts constitute civil infringement, or what acts constitute criminal infringement, of copyright law, or patent law, or any law similar to one of those.
  • ACTA must not use the propaganda term "intellectual property" or try to treat copyright law and patent law as a single issue.
  • ACTA must not stretch the term "counterfeiting" to apply to copyright or patent infringement.
  • If ACTA includes a mechanism for amendment, it must apply these requirements to all future amendments of ACTA.
Or, as a simpler alternative...
  • Cancel ACTA entirely. Although parts of it are not objectionable, they are secondary to ACTA's threat to our freedom. Unless we are sure that the repressive aspects of ACTA are blocked, the main significance of ACTA is as a threat to society. Killing ACTA would be a fine way to get rid of this threat.
This declaration does not conflict with the Wellington Declaration. If you agree with both, you can sign both.
To sign: http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/acta/acta-declaration

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2 user comments

118.6.2010 3:16

do the world a favor and Sign It

218.6.2010 15:52

signed.

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