[Linux-aus] DMCA referendum

Janet Hawtin lucychili at internode.on.net
Wed Jul 5 11:03:02 UTC 2006

LinuxAU is a broad church.
This is a Janet view, not a LinuxAU view.

For me this issue has become more fundamental than
the restriction with an exemption path allows.

These laws are coming on behalf of a lobby group through the US 
government. They are part of a widely deployed treaty between nations 
who all similarly were coerced with the threat of trade sanctions if 
they did not comply.

I do think the petition is an important step in raising the profile of 
the issue with the AG and the general public.

But if we really do not want a DMCA style law here with the associated
restrictions and company led court cases I doubt it will suffice to 
convince local politicians that local people are not in favour.

The US government is arguing to its own people that they cannot back 
down on the DMCA because theyve signed a treaty with other nations.

But the fact that there are people very angry in the US about the impact 
of these laws, and in France, and in the UK, and in Sweden,
anywhere where invention is valued and freedom is part of a way of life.

I think its time to ask for a referendum on DMCA.
If we contact the groups in other nations who are feeling 
disenfranchised by this method of importing law on behalf of a business 
group we could stand a better chance of raising the issue to a level 
where the international profile of this law is such that it
cannot be conscionably passed.

Perhaps this is not a correct approach feel free to differ.
I just feel it will need to be broader than an AU initiative.


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