A SECRET TREATY that will see the governments of the world hand over control to the music and film industries is being challenged by open sourcerors.
In a statement, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) said that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) treaty is designed to attack the rights of computer users in some 40-odd countries.
"ACTA threatens, in a disguised way, to punish Internet users with disconnection if they are accused of sharing, and requires countries to prohibit software that can break DRM," the FSF statement said.
It is throwing its influence behind a declaration against the treaty and it is asking people to sign it.
This followed the Wellington Declaration which the FSF said does not go far enough because it suggests that limited prohibition, along the lines of Article 11 of the WIPO Internet Treaty, might be acceptable.
"This limited prohibition would give government backing to certain kinds of digital handcuffs. To accept this much, without even a fight, almost begs the ACTA negotiators to try for more," the FSF said.
"The past 20 years have seen global waves of harmful changes in copyright law - some promoted by WIPO. To confront a further assault by presenting the status quo as ideal means we stop fighting to reverse them. It means that our adversaries need only propose a further affront to our rights to gain our acceptance of their last affront," the FSF said.
"We should demand positive changes to recover freedoms already lost. For instance, many countries already have laws restricting devices that can break digital handcuffs; these must be repealed. WIPO treaties demand such laws; countries that have signed these treaties must withdraw from them. To stop ACTA from requiring such laws is just one battle in the fight to eliminate them," the statement continued.
Introducing the FSF declaration, Richard Stallman wrote, "We will have to stop them. To build a movement to stop them, we need to say, 'Join us and fight!' Therefore I have written a firm and clear declaration of opposition to the aspects of ACTA that threaten our freedom."
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