English readers - help us : send an open letter to the President and Prime Minister of the French Republic
You can help us by writing to the President and Prime Minister of the French Republic.
Monsieur le Président de la République Palais de l'Elysée 55, rue du faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008 Paris France
M. Le Premier ministre Hôtel de Matignon 57, rue de Varenne 75700 Paris France
Here is a proposal :
Dear Mr President and Prime Minister of the French Republic,
I am very honoured to request your intervention in order to remove the legislative bill on author's rights and related rights in the information society ("Projet de Loi 1206 sur le Droit d'Auteur et les Droits Voisins dans la Société de l'Information - DADVSI") from the agenda of the French Parliament.
If France passes such a repressive bill, which would only benefit a few large corporations, there is the danger that my own government will be urged to follow the French example. As a result of the international agreements on author's rights which both our countries signed, national governments are indeed compelled to give author's rights owners the same legal protection that they would benefit from in their home country.
This "reciprocity principle" was already applied by the Clinton Administration ten years ago to compel American congressmen to pass a highly disputed law: the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), a law that was originally rejected by American public opinion. The same thing happened on a European level in 2001 with the EUCD.
Thus, the DADVSI bill goes much further than the DMCA and the EUCD. The passing of this bill would in fact preempt the decisions that are currently underway at the WIPO and European level. It could also be used by the lobbies of editors & producers in their attempt to obtain similar laws at an international level.
I therefore urge you to consider the requests that have been made by the "Initiative EUCD.INFO", the "Interassociatif des Bibliothécaires, des Documentalistes et des Archivistes", as well as those made by the numerous teachers and professors.
By reducing drastically the creative and educational use of knowledge and the arts, and restraining dramatically the free circulation of information, technical in particular, the DADVSI bill would not only have negative consequences on French territory (detrimental legal insecurity for small and medium sized companies, legalisation of tied selling, diminution of personal data protection), it would also gradually deprive the world of access to French culture, by restraining its diffusion.
As a strong supporter of cultural diversity and author's rights, I stand vigorously against such an evolution that could influence later legal debates in other countries, including mine. I am also extremely surprised that France, who recently advocated the cultural diversity principle with strong determination in UNESCO, is now about to chop it into pieces using a national law.
Finally, I would like to ask you to take all necessary steps in order to protect the rights of the authors and users of free software, especially those who are involved in the GNU Project (the free software produced by the GNU community has been classified amongst the "World Heritage" list established by UNESCO), and to ensure that the use of their software will not be prohibited on French territory.
In hope that you will know how to deal with this file, I wish to pay you my profoundest respect.