Civil Society Statement to the e-G8 and G8

Civil society representatives working towards the promotion of internet freedom, digital rights and open communications have sent on May 23rd, 2011 a joint statement to the "e-G8 forum" for the defence of a free and open Internet.

April was approached to join the signatories. April supports this declaration in general but decided not to sign it: we suggested some changes which were not included into the text, mostly because of time constraints. We advocated not to use the fallacious term "intellectual property". More importantly, April would have liked to see included in the declaration the idea that signatories believe Free Software is essentially better ethically, socially, ... than proprietary software.

In pratical terms, we were suggesting for the introduction to be modified as follows: "The signatories of this statement are representatives of civil society from around the world working towards the promotion of internet freedom, digital rights, free software and open communication" and to add in the paragraph on "Access" "the importance of Free Software for preserving a fair and inclusive access to digital technologies, as well as fundamental rights of their users". The expression "Free Software was simply added at the end of the text1.

April hopes that the various signatories will benefit from its suggestions by including and using the freedoms of Free Software in their initiatives and by defending them in their future actions.

We would like to thank the signatories for inviting us to the press conference on Monday, May 23rd and to have given us the opportunity to express our opinion.

  • 1. In "issues like strict intellectual property enforcement and increasing online intermediary liability seem likely to take primacy over citizen-centered policies like net neutrality, Free Software, and combating online censorship".