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How to easily search the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for bullshit

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a very long, legalistic proposed treaty full of paid-for corporate graft. The Washington Post has made it easy to search, lest its inaccessibility dissuade scrutiny (which seems unlikely, though anything that makes it accessible to laypeople will annoy the right people) Read the rest

EFF on TPP: all our worst fears confirmed

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The US spent five years locking its trading partners in smoke-filled rooms with its most rapacious corporate lobbyists, writing a secret trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, all the while assuring us all that it would be great when it was done. It's awful. Read the rest

TPP will ban rules that require source-code disclosure

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As we pick through the secret, 2,000-page treaty, we're learning an awful lot of awfulness, but this one is particularly terrible. Read the rest

How TPP will clobber Canada's municipal archives and galleries of historical city photos

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Jesse writes, "Like you, I've been following the TPP news with much trepidation. My partner is a librarian-archivist, so I'm keenly away of how difficult copyright law can make the job of the average archivist. I put together a piece explaining how the TPP's copyright extension will hurt Canadian city archives, and the galleries of historical city photos we love so much." Read the rest

TPP: Full text of secret treaty revealed

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Courtesy of governments around the world, from the White House to New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

With 30 chapters and more than 2000 pages, it'll be a long weekend read.

Quick highlights dug out by first responders on Twitter and Reddit: Copyright is lifetime plus 75 years; Internet service providers must give your name if requested by copyright holders; ISPs must remove material upon receipt of a copyright claim; and you can't sue if the claim was bogus.

The Hill on what comes next:

The release of the text will probably be followed by an “intent to sign” message to Congress from President Obama, meaning there will be 90 days before he can sign the deal, a rule that is part of the trade promotion authority (TPA) or “fast-track” legislation signed into law this summer.

After that, the White House will send implementing language to Capitol Hill, starting the clock for the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees to begin their process of moving the TPP through their panels and to their respective floors for a final up-and-down vote.

Read the rest

Globe and Mail: TPP's copyright chapter will cost Canadians hundreds of millions

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Canada's rock-ribbed bastion of pro-trade, pro-Tory ideology has come out against the Trans Pacific Partnership's Intellectual Property chapter in a leading editorial signed by the paper's editorial board. Read the rest

Canada's new Liberal majority: better than the Tories, still terrible for the Internet

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Justin Trudeau is certainly an improvement on outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He's unlikely to go on burning Canada's archives and warring on its scientists, and he'll probably stop ignoring the murder of hundreds of aboriginal women and girls, and he's not a racist asshole who plays to other racist assholes to keep power. Read the rest

TPP means no more domain privacy

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Last summer, thousands of organizations and individuals wrote to ICANN to defend domain-name proxies that keep registrants' personal information private -- a crucial facility used by people in danger of political or personal reprisal, from people fleeing gender violence to dissidents documenting human rights abuses. Read the rest

John Oliver on the Canadian election: NAILED IT!

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Just in time for election day, the best show on late-night TV reports on the decade-long reign of error from Stephen Harper's Conservative Party, and finishes on a note of surreal triumph. Read the rest

TPP requires countries to destroy security-testing tools (and your laptop)

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Under TPP, signatories are required to give their judges the power to "order the destruction of devices and products found to be involved in" breaking digital locks, such as those detailed in this year's US Copyright Office Triennial DMCA Hearing docket, which were used to identify critical vulnerabilities in vehicles, surveillance devices, voting machines, medical implants, and many other devices in our world. Read the rest

Listen: making sense of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a Canadian election perspective

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The current Canadaland podcast (MP3) carefully parses out the implications of the Trans Pacific Partnership from the perspective of Internet freedom, censorship, free speech, business, and transparency. Read the rest

Leaked (final?) TPP Intellectual Property chapter spells doom for free speech online

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Wikileaks has published a leaked draft -- dated Oct, 5, and thus possibly the final text -- of the "Intellectual Property Chapter" of the Trans Pacific Partnership, and it's grim reading. Read the rest

How the NDP and Liberals can defeat the Tories: a data-driven approach

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Ali Kashani, a data-scientist, has run the numbers on Canada's electoral constituencies (called "ridings") and concluded that if the candidates from the NDP and Liberal parties in sixteen of those ridings agreed to one or the other withdrawing, the Conservative Party could not form the next government. Read the rest

NZ government leaks on TPP: copyright terms will go to life plus 70 years

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An official New Zealand government bulletin on yesterday's conclusion of the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations accidentally confirmed something we all believed was in there all along: an extension of copyright terms to match the USA's bizarre, evidence-free, century-plus terms. Read the rest

Now that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is finalized, the real fight starts

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For most of a decade, government negotiators from around the Pacific Rim have met in utmost secrecy to negotiate a "trade deal" that was kept secret from legislatures, though executives from the world's biggest corporations were allowed in the room and even got to draft parts of the treaty. Read the rest

The Thingmaker was the coolest toy ever

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One of my favorite toys as a kid was Creepy Crawlers. Introduced in 1964 by Mattel, it was a kit that let you make rubber insects, spiders, snakes, lizards etc. It came with a set of metal molds, squeeze bottles of liquid plastic called Plastigoop, and an electrically-powered, 390 degrees Fahrenheit open-face hot plate called the Thingmaker to cure the Plastigoop. It's the kind of toy that would be deemed to dangerous today because of the high heat and shocking hazard (the kit came with a mold cooling tray that you filled with water and placed next to the Thingmaker).

I may have gotten a couple of first-degree burns using Creepy Crawlers, but I never regretted it. It would occupy my friends and me for hours at a time. My kids would have loved the Thingmaker as much as I did.

The Fright Factory was an especially cool Thingmaker toy. It was a kit that let you make macabre prosthetics: scars, long fingernails, a third eye, a diseased tongue, fangs, etc.

Nightflight's Bryan Thomas has a good article about the history of the Thingmaker line of toys, with lots of images. And Bob Knetzger wrote a terrific article about Mattel's line of DIY Toys for MAKE.

Read the rest

MPAA loves fair use so much they don't want to share it with the rest of the world

The Hollywood studios always claim to be "pro-fair-use" but when the US Trade Representative made a move to put fair use into the Trans Pacific Partnership, the MPAA sent a scathing, furious letter to the Obama administration condemning "the inclusion of fair use' in free trade agreements" as "extremely controversial and divisive." Read the rest

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