[Linux-aus] Linux Australia Urges the Federal Govt. Not to Abandon Consumer and Competition Interests

James Purser purserj at k-sit.com
Tue Jun 13 08:59:04 UTC 2006

Linux Australia Urges the Federal Govt. Not to Abandon Consumer and
Competition Interests

Linux Australia, Australia's peak Free and Open Source Software
community group, announced the launch of a petition today calling on the
federal government to resist pressure to abandon consumer and
competition rights when drafting anti-circumvention laws.  New laws are
required under the terms of the Free Trade Agreement negotiated between
Australia and the United States.

"The treaty doesn't force us to implement this like the US, where these
laws have driven litigation to suppress academic publications, prevent
third-party printer cartridge manufacturers, and eliminate competition
by Open Source software.  But naturally some large business interests
are pressing for the same restrictions on legitimate access to digital
material here." said Rusty Russell, Linux Australia's IP Policy Adviser.

"Consumers should continue to enjoy full use of their legitimately
purchased digital material, whether it be playing DVDs, copying CDs onto
their iPods, using computer programs of their choice, or playing
iTunes-bought songs on non-iPod MP3 players.  You've paid for it, you
use it as you see fit."

Con Zymaris, a director with the Open Source Industry Association,
joined with Russell.  "Australian small businesses are world-class at
using, deploying and building Open Source software.  We must be free to
do so without fear of lawsuits from the larger incumbents we compete

Linux Australia President Jon Oxer called for a focus on consumer rights
and support.  Oxer urged all those who would be affected by the new laws
to download a copy of the petition and get as many signatures as

"If we don't push back now, Australian competition, consumer rights and
freedoms will be hamstrung as we enter the digital age."

The petition and online statement can be found at

Rusty Russell can be contacted on 0417 451212.

About Linux Australia

Linux Australia exists to serve and promote the Australian Linux and
Open Source community. The organisation aims to do this best by taking
enthusiasms within the community, such as FOSS issues, projects,
education, advocacy just to name a few, and help them flourish, to
succeed. The lifeblood of this organisation is the people in the
community, and Linux Australia strives to be both relevant and useful to
the community. For more details on Linux Australia visit

About OSIA

OSIA is the national industry body for Open Source within Australia. We
exist to further the cause of both Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)
in Australia and to help our members to improve their business success
in this growing sector of the global Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) market. For more information about OSIA please visit
James Purser
Ordinary Committee Member
Linux Australia
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