24C3 - 1.01

24th Chaos Communication Congress
Volldampf voraus!

j. Zimmermann
Day Day 3 (2007-12-29)
Room Saal 2
Start time 12:45
Duration 01:00
ID 2271
Event type lecture
Track Society
Language en

Distributed campaigns for promoting and defending freedom in digital societies

Sharing experience about campaigning on the political field in France

A presentation of a few successful campaigns in France lead by libre software activists for defending freedom in a digital world: bringing awareness of the politicians about the dangers of the EUCD transposition and DRM, and their economical, social and political impact and influencing the candidates at a presidential election to talk about Libre Software, software patents, DRM, etc. How did we do that? What have we learned? Maybe for political action too, sharing is a way of just doing it better.

Our french libre software association, APRIL, is getting bigger. We just passed the 1700th individual member, and got over the last years corporate members such as SUN Microsystems, Thal├Ęs, Neuf/Cegetel, Wengo, Fon, Adacore, Mandriva, etc. We now have three persons working full-time. Our main objectives are to raise awareness about Libre Software and defend it whenever it's in danger.

For the last few years, the menaces became more and more threatening for our freedom in the digital world. We had to build campaigns and tools to structure our efforts and cooperation between individuals and organizations.

  • EUCD.INFO : For 3 years, 1 to 3 persons worked full-time to build solid documentation, contact politics, write amendments, contact journalists, etc. about the French transposition of the EUCD directive (DADVSI law). Over the criminalizing of DRM circumvention, this transposition brought very specific legal weapons supposed to "fight piracy" that were among the most radical, impressive and nefarious ever seen. Some of them were pushed back thanks to our efforts, but many of them may come back again very soon : private police and filtering of the Internet, censorship of authors of software "mainly used for distributing content without their author's consent", etc. Nevertheless, around the legal text in the parliament, our efforts brought many "collateral benefits".

  • CANDIDATS.FR: This campaign goal was to influence the candidates at elections so they think and work and talk about libre software, interoperability, DRM, software patents, open standards, etc. (Candidats.fr). Thanks to some political acrobatics, 9 out of the 12 candidates, including the 5 first ones, replied to our very precise questionnaire.

During the legislative campaign (for electing the deputies), we built a distributed web platform where volunteers took responsibility and reported about contacting their local candidates to make them sign a "Pacte du Logiciel Libre" (pact of free-as-free-speech software). This very short and precise document acknowledges the benefits of our freedom for economics, society and innovation, and their need for protection when they're endangered. Out of the 7600 candidates, more than 500 signed our pact. 66 of the 577 elected signed it, thanks to the help of 600 volunteers.

  • StopDRM.info is a group of activists born during the storm caused on a french part of internet during the longer-than-expected examining of the DADVSI law. Their aim is to educate regular consumers about DRM. They organised flashmobs in music/video superstores with up to 100 persons and later turned themselves to the police for having circumvented DRM under the new DADVSI law. (They are still waiting for their trial ! ;)

-> How did we build these campaigns? -> What have we learned from them? -> What are the common pitfalls to avoid? -> How to reach journalists, politicians, general public? -> How to "spin" a campaign? -> How could we achieve better cooperation between individuals and non-profits to share this knowledge?

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