Richard Stallman and the Free Software Federation have issued a call to arms for the free software movement to mobilise against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) currently being negotiated.
In an extended posting on the FSF web site Stallman [pictured] called on people around the world to sign a declaration calling for severe limits on the powers being proposed in ACTA, or better yet the scrapping of the entire treaty currently being hammered out by politicians and industry.
“Those politicians serve the big music and movie companies,” he wrote.
“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.”
An online petition site has been set up and the declaration is designed not to interfere with the Wellington Declaration, which has similar goals.
The controversial ACTA treaty, which would seek to impose global copyright and anti-piracy rules among signatories, was published for the first time in April after more than a year of secret negotiations.
"Now that some details of ACTA have been made public, we know that our previous concerns were justified,” said FSF's operations manager John Sullivan.
“We are asking the free software community to join us in speaking out against this attack on the public's freedom, and I hope that people will not only sign the statement, but also write and publish their own specific thoughts about the issues. This is a time for people to show -- in as many ways as possible -- that they value the freedoms ACTA threatens.”
For more on ACTA, see iTnews' full commentary.