ACTA, dead on the Fourth of July ?
Paris/Strasbourg, Wednesday, July 4th, 2012. Press release.
The result of a an unbelievable citizen mobilisation, the European Parliament rejected today the “anti-counterfeiting” trade agreement ACTA (39 in favor of ACTA, 478 against and 165 abstentions). April congratulates the MEPs for their vote and applaudes all those who, for the past four years, have taken a stance against this agreement.
SInce 2008, April has been involved, along with La Quadrature du Net, EFF, Act Up, FFII and more, in educational efforts regarding the various threats ACTA poses. The agreement would have posed numerous threats against the Free Software authors, users and companies community. Generally speaking, ACTA threatened basic freedoms online, net neutrality, innovation, acess and sharing of free technologies, of culture, of generic medecines and seeds.
Today's vote and the rejection of ACTA represent a fomidable victory for citizens everywhere, as well as for European democracy and citizenship.
It is also a strong signal to all political leaders, encouraging them to break free from the cycle of repressive policies and engage in positive reform of copyright and patents.
When civil society creates a direct connection with parliamentary democracy, the result can be strong. At the European level, the mobilisation against ACTA reminds of the 2005 rejection of the European directive on Software Patents put forward by the European Commission and the European Council. This 2005 rejection does not prevent a possible return of Software Patents in the guise of the Unitary Patent Project.
“Nearly 7 years after the Software Patents directive was rejected, we can celebrate a new victory for citizens ans parliamentary democracy. Congratulations and thank you to all those who took action. But the fight isn't over. ACTA may have died on a fourth of July, but let's make sure it doesn't come back in a different form.” declared Frédéric Couchet, executive director of April.
“Following fierce debates in the European Parliament, a large majority eventually voted in favour of respecting fundamental freedoms and citizens.” rejoiced Jeann Tadeusz, affairs public directors. Concluding: “Today could well be, as many MEPs demanded, the beginning of a process to thoroughly review and rebalance copyright.”
Against ACTA… and beyond, let's support La Quadrature du Net. April encourages everyone to financially (or in any other way) support La Quadrature du Net.
Pioneer of free software in France, April is since 1996 a major player in the democratisation and the spread of Free Software and open standards to the general public, professionals and institutions in the French-speaking world. In the digital era that is ours, it also aims to inform the public on the dangers of an exclusive appropriation ofinformation an knowledge by private interests.
The association has over 5,000 members, using or producing Free Software.