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FSFE calls for an amendment of Slovak Copyright Act

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FSFE calls for an amendment that would eventually enable Free Software and Creative Commons licenses for Slovak citizens. Currently, these licenses are considered to be void due to lack of their written form and problems with formation of the contract. Slovakia is thus one of a few countries where these popular licensing tools still struggle with rigid legislative framework.

During the last week, FSFE therefore sent support letters to four members of Slovak Parliament that proposed this highly awaited amendment, but later faced its dismissal due to preliminary elections. Now, we want to make a sure that this important issue will not drop from the agenda of political parties. If you also feel that another 5 million Europeans should have this option, please support our action and write members of Slovak parliament (regardless of your residence). Explain them what is your experience with Free Software or just reuse our letter. Your support is important!

Dear Mr /Mrs,

We would like to express our sincere appreciation for your current legislative proposal for modernization of the Slovak Copyright Act towards Creative Commons, GNU GPL and other licenses. Having followed your initiative, we are very sorry to learn that it was recently stoped in the Slovak parliament. We hope that this will not discouragge you from proposing the same piece of legislation after the next parliamentary elections in March 2012.

There are many reasons why we believe this is important for Slovakia and its citizens. First of all, current legislative framework in Slovakia is being left far beyond the digital age.Authors of copyrighed works, including creators of computer software,generally suffer from great uncertainaty when it comes to licensing of their works online. This eventually weakens any authority of the copyright protection in the eyes of gerneral public and leads to nearly zero enforcement. Secondly, current status quo enourmously restricts the freedom of the authors to decide how and under which conditions they can distribute their works. Today, thousands of Slovaks are left without any possibility of benefiting from licenses such as GNU GPL, GNU LGPL, other Free Software licenses or Creative Commons, which would enable worldwide distribution of their works, knowledge and expertize. This is despite the fact that Slovaks are enthusiastic users of GNU GPL licensed software and Creative Commons licensed works. In fact, we believe that nobody benefits from the Copyright Act as it stands today.

Therefore, we support the legislative initiative taken by you. Your effort is of a great importance to all Slovaks. We hope that soon after the elections we could see from you another legislative proposal challenging this problems. We will be closely following your work. If we can be of assistance in regard to Free Software licensing, please let us know.

Best Regards,

Email addresses of Slovak MPs here; Scaned copies of our letters here;