ACTA calls to urgently rethink patents and copyright (open letter)

Paris, July 1, 2010 - Open letter

The 9th round of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations just ended in Luzern, Switzerland.

Whatever the final text will be after the next negotiation rounds, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will remain an illegitimate agreement, by its elaboration process (beyond any democratic control) as well as its content (further strengthening of an outdated set of legislation). Access to medicine in the poorest countries and protection of citizens' fundamental rights in their usage of Internet and digital technologies are too crucial issues to be left out to the hazards of closed-doors negotiations.

In the age of globalized exchanges, the sharing of information improves our societies and saves lives. ACTA is emblematic of an outdated repression of the sharing of information and knowledge. Without awaiting the end of the negotiations, we urge governments negotiating ACTA to:

  • rethink copyright from scratch to guarantee the potentiality of democratic participation, access to culture and innovation allowed by the networked sharing of information, while guaranteeing fundamental freedoms;
  • rethink the patent system to adapt it to a world where three major pandemics kill 15,000 persons per day because of the lack of accessible treatment for all.

ACTA belongs to the past.

First signatories of this letter

Your organization can sign this letter by filling the form on La Quadrature du Net website.

  • Act Up-Paris - France
  • Action contre le sida - Togo
  • ALCS - Maroc
  • Alternatives - Cameroun
  • April - France
  • Asociación de Internautas - Spain
  • Associazione scambio etico - Italia
  • Bits of Freedom - The Netherlands
  • Coalition Plus - International
  • - Greece
  • Electronic Frontier Finland - Finland
  • Electronic Frontier Norway - Norway
  • Exgae - Spain
  • Föreningen fri kultur & programvara - Sweden
  • Free Knowledge Institute - Europe
  • French Data Network - France
  • Gnutiken - Sweden
  • Health GAP - United-States
  • Internet Sans Frontières - France
  • IP Left - South Korea
  • - South Korea
  • KidAIDS - Cameroun
  • La Quadrature du Net - France
  • - France
  • Nature Care - Thailand
  • Ouvaton - France
  • - Canada
  • Piratgruppen - Denmark
  • Réseau pour l'accès aux médicaments essentiels - Burkina Faso
  • Swaa - Burundi
  • Thai Treatment action group - Thailand
  • The WeReBuild clusters - Europe
  • UFC-Que Choisir - France
  • URBLS Bobo - Burkina Faso
  • Utopia - France
  • Vrijschrift/Scriptum Libre - Netherlands
  • Electronic Frontier Bulgaria - Bulgaria

About April

Founded in 1996, April is the main French advocacy association devoted to promote and protect Free/Libre Software. With its 5476 members (5004 individuals, 472 businesses, associations and organizations), April is a pioneer of Free Software in France. Since 1996, it is a major player in the democratization and the spread of free software and open standards to the general public, professionals and institutions in the French-speaking world. It also acts as a watchdog on digital freedoms, warning the public about the dangers of private interests keeping an exclusive stranglehold on information and knowledge.

Press contacts:

Frédéric Couchet, Executive Director, +33 6 60 68 89 31
Jérémie Zimmermann, board member, +33 6 15 94 06 75