[Linux-aus] Petition draft text: No DMCA blanket anti-circumvention law in Australia!

Rusty Russell rusty at linux.org.au
Mon Jun 5 15:42:01 UTC 2006

Hi all,

I've been meeting with political advisers, writing letters, and making
submissions on this stuff for LA for almost two years now.  The
government will soon produce draft legislation implementing 17.4.7 FTA
commitments.  Unfortunately, they just don't care, so are going to
interpret the treaty as "we need to implement it like the americans",
even though a better interpretation is possible, with political will.

A real, paper petition might make them care: we have to try.  Here's the
draft: we'll produce a PDF by Friday, for people to print out and mail

Feedback welcome!

Protect Competition and Innovation in Australia

Australia is required to enact harsh new "anti-circumvention" laws under
the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement.  Some large business interests
are pressing for the government to restrict legitimate access to digital
copyright material, even though the treaty text does not openly require
us to do so.

We should be able to play DVDs and games bought overseas, even though
some companies want that ability banned.  We should be able to
fast-forward through "forced previews" on DVDs, even though some
companies want that banned, too.  In short, we must be allowed to enjoy
full use of our own property, whether created ourselves or legitimately
obtained from others, now and in the future.

This also means that we must be able to create, buy and sell devices or
services to do these things: region-free DVD players, and other
"unauthorised" devices which give the legitimate owner of music, movies
and games control over their use, despite any additional restrictions
placed on them.

We ask the Government to clearly tie "circumvention" offenses to things
which assist piracy, not activities such as playing our own DVDs or
games without explicit permission!  We ask the Government to commit to
market freedom and competition in Australia, and refuse to provide new
legal weaponry against competitive and innovative technology companies
and users, such as Free and Open Source software.

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