President Obama's final State of the Union address

President Obama delivers his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016. REUTERS

President Barack Obama tonight gave the final State of the Union Address of his final presidential term. Here is the full text of those remarks.

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TPP vs Canada: a parade of horribles


Michael Geist has rung in the new year with the first in a series of posts that set out, in eye-watering detail, the bowel-loosening terror of the effects that the secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership would have on Canada if the country ratifies it. Read the rest

Public Domain Day outside the USA: what Canada and the rest of the world get today


In the USA, laws passed in 1976 and 1998 ensure that virtually nothing ever enters the public domain, but it's a different story in the rest of the world -- for now, at least. Read the rest

TPP is a giftwrapped wealth-transfer to China


Writing in the Globe and Mail, University of Toronto Munk Chair of Innovation Studies Dan Breznitz explains how the TPP -- negotiated in secret without any oversight or accountability -- will enrich a few multinationals at the expense of US and Canadian growth, making the whole trade zone less competitive and more ripe to be overtaken by Chinese firms. Read the rest

Copyright infringement "gang" raided by UK cops: 3 harmless middle-aged karaoke fans


The City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit's breathless press-release about their raid on a "gang suspected of uploading and distributing tens of thousands of karaoke tracks online" obscures the truth: they busted three middle-aged dudes who loved singing, so they hunted down otherwise unavailable tracks and shared them with other karaoke fans, not making a penny in the process. Read the rest

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


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


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

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

The Big List of What's Wrong with the TPP


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


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!


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


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"


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


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


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


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


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

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