[Linux-aus] Petition against the FTA

Anthony Towns aj at azure.humbug.org.au
Wed Apr 14 12:45:02 UTC 2004

On Thu, Apr 08, 2004 at 01:45:18PM +1000, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> There is a petition against the Australian/USA free trade agreement:
> http://www.petitiononline.com/auftaip/petition.html
> Before you rush out to sign it, however, I'd like to suggest that on-line
> petitions have all the impact of a damp piece of paper against a
> battleship. 

That, though, isn't a reason not to sign it. If it happens that that
bit of paper clogs an intake valve, which blows up a pump, which puts
the ship off course, which stops it from joining the battle, that's all
to the good. For want of a nail, etc.

In particular, it's easy to say "I won't sign some useless petition,
I'll write a letter! _And_ make a phone call!" but we're all busy people
and it's far too easy to have to put off that phone call or letter later
because more important or more urgent things come up. So please: read,
review and sign the petition now, and if you want and are able to do more,
then do that _as well_.

> You can look for your Federal MP here:
> http://www.aec.gov.au/esearch/main.htm
> You can find email addresses here:
> http://www.aph.gov.au/house/members/index.htm#contact
> but remember, email is easy, dead tree is effective. Which would you
> rather?

Personally, I'd rather _both_ be done: every contribution is helpful,
no matter how easy or small it is.

Also, please note that the petition should be able to be supported by
general users of Linux systems as well as the l33t hax0rs who read lists
like this: please do talk to your clients, customers, friends or family
who use Linux systems about this issue, and ask them to sign the petition
as well. Getting users who aren't particularly knowledgable about Linux
beyond day-to-day stuff aware of what problems Linux'll be facing in the
future -- patents, inability to get at "protected" content, etc -- is an
important part of achieving a good resolution to this problem in general.

More suggestions on how to help are available at http://www.linux.org.au/fta/

In summary, please do think about more effective ways of making our point,
but please only do that _after_ rushing out and signing the petition. Get
the easy stuff out of the way first.


Anthony Towns <aj at humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
Don't assume I speak for anyone but myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

Protect Open Source in Australia from over-reaching changes to IP law
http://www.petitiononline.com/auftaip/ & http://www.linux.org.au/fta/
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