Software freetards demand axing of ACTA
Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation are calling for the rejection of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) unless key changes to “protect the public's freedom” are made.
ACTA is a treaty designed to harmonise some countries' intellectual property laws. It is being negotiated by the US, Japan, the European Commission and others outside of the normal international trade bodies the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
In his statement Stallman says: "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 Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), also known as digital handcuffs."
The FSF statement gives backhanded praise to the aim of an earlier effort, the Wellington Declaration published by citizens in New Zealand to condemn ACTA's prohibition of devices that can break digital handcuffs.
Stallman feels the Wellington Declaration avoided a forceful confrontation with “the politicians who seek to impose unjust laws through ACTA".
“Those politicians serve the big music and movie companies. They intend to impose what those companies want - first on 40-odd countries, then on the world. They won't heed civic-minded suggestions offered in a reasonable spirit that assumes their good will; their response to the Wellington Declaration shows that.
"We will have to stop them. To build a movement to stop them, we need to say, 'Join us and fight!'"
The ACTA treaty was aired for the first time in April after more than a year of secret negotiations.
Echoing the freeeeeeedom cries, Stallman says: “When we oppose ACTA, we are not asking our governments for a favour. Defending our freedom is their reason for being, and we demand it by right. We should not 'compromise' by volunteering to cede some of our freedom so that they have less to do." ®
Don't dis da Stallman
Without him there'd be no GNU tools, without which there'd be no Linux or Android OS. Even FreeBSD owes GNU some debt, and therefore Mac OS and iOS too.
And you don't have to call someone a "freetard" just because they fight against Big Business's attempts to stifle the principle of fair use.
El Reg totally impartial as usual
The rules being proposed by ACTA will affect everybody not just the 'freetards'
And your insistence on linking the two shows who's side you are on and not impartial as all good journo's should be.
Does Mr Blincoe have an axe to grind here...?
He starts by referring to "freetards" (always a nicely unbiased term) and then refers to the "self-described software freedom activist" with the sneering implication that the FSF is just the output of a lone nutcase in his bedroom (who publishes the GPL...)
Not only that, but there's a huge "Black Helicopters" icon beside the piece just in case Mr Blincoe's implicit message is too subtle for us to understand.
He also refers to Robert Stallman's "lengthy posting", yet it's shorter than quite a few El Reg articles (was this just an attempt to deter people from actually going and *reading* what it says so they only have Robert Blincoe's take on it?)
Mr Blincoe seems to want to portray Mr Stallman's output as the rantings of an insignificant individual, for what reason I am not sure, but it is clear that his piece should have included the word *OPINION* in big letters at the top.