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Some countries learned from America's copyright mistakes: TPP will undo that

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America's 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act made it easy to censor the Internet: under the statute, you can make virtually anything disappear by claiming, without evidence, that it infringes your copyright, and there are almost no penalties for abuse. Read the rest

Ecuador's draft copyright law: legal to break DRM to achieve fair use

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All over the world, laws promulgated by the US Trade Representative ban breaking digital locks -- the "Digital Rights Management" technologies that lock up our TVs, tablets, phones, games consoles, cars, insulin pumps, tractors, coffee makers, etc -- even if you're breaking them to do something legal, for example, making "fair use" (like parodies, critiques, and new, transformative works like mashups). Read the rest

Charitable Giving Guide 2015

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A guide to the charities we support in our own annual giving.

The Big List of What's Wrong with the TPP

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The Trans Pacific Partnership: it's thousands of pages' worth of dense bureaucratic language setting out the give-and-take of years' worth of secret negotiations. Figuring out what it means for you is a transcendentally difficult process. Read the rest

The TPP's ban on source-code disclosure requirements: bad news for information security

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The secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership is 2,000 pages' worth of regulatory favors for various industries, but one that stands out as particularly egregious is the ban on rules requiring source-code disclosure. Read the rest

A roadmap for killing TPP: the next SOPA uprising!

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The Trans Pacific Partnership is the largest "trade deal" in history, negotiated in secret and encompassing many issues unrelated to trade, including rules that make the Internet less secure, easier to censor and spy on, and more subject to corporate dominance. Read the rest

Canadian civil servants grooming new minister to repeat Harper's Internet mistakes

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Mélanie Joly is the newly appointed Canadian Heritage Minister, and she's been given a briefing book by her ministerial staffers laying out the ministry's view of what's going on in the Heritage brief. The book's copyright section is a disaster. Read the rest

RIM founder: TPP is "the worst public policy decision in Canada's history"

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Bob Coons writes, "Jim Balsillie, one of the founders of RIM, has made the headlines in Canada by stating that signing the TPP could be "the worst public policy decision in the country's history." Read the rest

TPP will let banks write their own regulations and stick taxpayers with the bill

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One of the most controversial aspects of the secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership is its inclusion of investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS) -- a procedure that allows a corporation to sue governments to get rid of laws that undermine its profitability. ISDSs epitomize everything that's messed up in "trade" agreements, have resulted in corporations being given billions of dollars in tax-payer money in "compensation" for environmental, safety and labor laws; and, most notoriously, were used by Philip Morris to attack countries that passed laws aimed at reducing smoking. Read the rest

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

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