Vivendi lobbyist appointed to run copyright for UN agency

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Francis Gurry, the fair-use hating, web-hating, North Korea embargo-breaking, witch-hunting, blackmailing head of the UN's World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has a new pick to run copyright at the UN agency: Sylvie Forbin, a lobbyist for for French entertainment giant Vivendi. Read the rest

Post-Brexit, EU Commission plan to ram through disastrous Canada-EU trade deal dies

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CETA -- the "Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement" is a secretly negotiated deal between Canada and the EU, mirroring many of the most controversial provisions in notorious deals like ACTA, TPP, and TTIP -- including the "corporate sovereignty" clauses that permit multinational corporations to sue governments in closed courts, and force them to repeal environmental, labour and safety rules (albeit dressed up in new clothes that make the provisions appear different, without making any real difference). Read the rest

UK Tories use Brexit as an excuse to slash corporate taxes to the lowest of any major economy

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Nearly 2 weeks ago, 17 million Britons (mostly poor) voted to leave the EU in what amounted to a plebiscite on austerity, finance capitalism, and the widening gap between the increasingly wealthy and the increasingly poor. In response, the Conservative government says it will tempt corporations to come to the UK by making the rich get even richer and the poor even poorer. Read the rest

Canadian trade policy expert calls TPP a "threat to democracy"

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Gus Van Harten is a law professor at York University's Osgoode Hall and a well-respected expert on trade law; he's published a damning report on the Trans Pacific Partnership deal. Read the rest

US government agency's own numbers predict virtually no gains from TPP

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The United States International Trade Commission, "an independent, bipartisan, quasi-judicial, federal agency of the United States that provides trade expertise to both the legislative and executive branches," has just tabled a deep, 792-page report on the likely economic benefits to the USA from the secretly negotiated, anti-democratic Trans-Pacific Partnership, and they predict that the agreement will deliver 0.01% growth to the US economy between now and 2032, when it will level off altogether. Read the rest

US trade rep threatens Colombia's peace process over legal plan to offer cheap leukemia meds

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Colombia wants to produce Novartis's leukemia drug imatinib under a compulsory license, something it is allowed to do under its trade agreement with the USA, to bring the price down from $15,161/year (double the annual average income) to prices like those charged in India ($803/year). Read the rest

Chinese state-backed corporations beat US lawsuits with sovereign immunity

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Sovereign immunity prevents one government from using its courts to attack another, but Chinese state-backed industries are taking it to new places, arguing that sovereign immunity means that the US courts have no jurisdiction over Chinese companies whose products are harmful or whose conduct is negligent -- and US courts are buying that argument. Read the rest

MEP tours the farcical viewing conditions for the TTIP text

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On Monday, Greenpeace leaked the highly confidential negotiating drafts of the TTIP, a top-secret, big-business-friendly trade agreement between the USA and the EU. Read the rest

Amid education funding emergency, Washington State gives Boeing, Microsoft $1B in tax breaks

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Jeff writes, "Combined, Washington State is providing Microsoft and Boeing $1 billion annually in tax breaks. Cumulatively, Microsoft's state tax has saved its shareholders $8.6 billion in costs. While the company quietly surpassed $1 trillion in all time revenue, its home state faces emergencies in education funding, homelessness, heroin addiction and escalating crime." Read the rest

After advertiser complaints, Farm News fires editorial cartoonist who criticized John Deere & Monsanto

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Rick Friday has been the editorial cartoonist for Farm News for 21 years, with a weekly slot in every Friday's paper. Read the rest

French Assembly passes motion to kill the 3-strike Hadopi copyright law

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In 2010, after years of bitter fighting, the French National Assembly passed "Hadopi," the worst copyright law in history, which provided for disconnecting whole families from the Internet if their network connection was implicated in an accusation of copyright infringement. Read the rest

Printer ink wars may make private property the exclusive domain of corporations

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Printer manufacturer Lexmark hates America, and everything good and right in the world, because we keep stubbornly insisting that if we buy a printer cartridge, we can refill it, because it's ours.

Read the rest

Corporate opposition to LGBTQ discrimination laws shows the GOP alliance has shattered

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Since the late 1970s, the American conservative movement has been an uneasy -- and unstoppable -- alliance of big-business-friendly finance boosters and poor, evangelical Christians whose major issues were things like gay marriage, abortion, and forcing women into "traditional" gender roles, not taxation and "small government." Read the rest

Walmart heiress donated $378,400 to Hillary Clinton campaign and PACs

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Alice Walton, heiress to the Walmart fortune, donated $353,400 to Hillary Clinton's "Victory Fund" and another $25,000 to the Ready for Hillary PAC. Read the rest

To understand the link between corporations and Hillary Clinton, look at philosophy, not history

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When Hillary Clinton supporters are confronted with the evidence of their candidate's financial ties to dirty coal and oil, dirty finance, dirty autocratic governments, and so on, they insist that there's nothing to see here, because no one can link any specific contribution to a specific policy outcome. Read the rest

These 27 profitable S&P 500 companies paid no tax last year

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Two things are inevitable: death and taxes. Unless, of course, you are a transhuman, immortal artificial life form that uses humans as gut-flora (that is, a major corporation). Then they're both optional. hit thanks mostly to a tax break connected with General Motors Europe.

27 giant profitable companies paid no taxes [Matt Krantz/USA Today]

(via Barry Ritholtz) Read the rest

After appointed city manager illegally jacked up prices, Flint paid the highest water rates in America

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The tainted water that poisoned an entire generation of children in Flint, MI, was the most expensive water in America. Read the rest

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