Arbitration: how America's corporations got their own private legal system


In 1925, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations of similar size and bargaining power could use arbitration, rather than courts, to settle their differences; today, corporations demand that customers and employees agree to use the arbitration system for redress of any grievances, while reserving the right to use the courts to attack humans who offend them. Read the rest

State Department willing to overlook Malaysia's mass graves for the sake of TPP

The fast-track bill rammed through Congress last month lets the president walk right into any trade deal he wants, so long as it's with countries that have decent human rights records. Read the rest

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TPP fast track is dead! (for now)

On Friday, the US House of Reps overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would have ensured the acceptance of the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership treaty without any chance to debate or amend its clauses. Read the rest

Emails: corporate lobbyist thanks US Trade Rep for pasting his wish-list right into TPP

A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit has extracted emails between corporate lobbyists and US Trade Rep officials working on the secretive, corrupt Trans Pacific Partnership treaty. Read the rest

Every 3 years you get to beg the government for the right to treat your property as if you owned it

Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act bans jailbreaking devices, even for lawful purposes -- meaning that you can't jailbreak your tractor in order to take it to the service-center of your choosing or fix it yourself. Read the rest

GM says you don't own your car, you just license it

GM has joined with John Deere in asking the government to confirm that you literally cannot own your car because of the software in its engine. Read the rest

URGENT: Senate backtracks on TPP fasttrack -- call Congress to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership

Just days after the Senate rejected the Obama administration's bid to fast-track the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership, they've backtracked, and now they're getting ready to rush fast-track through. Read the rest

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Sony sends pre-emptive threat letter to journalists

A lawyer retained by Sony has sent threat-letters to media outlets hinting at repercussions if they report on material in the huge dump of internal Sony docs from the North Korea hack that Wikileaks put online. Read the rest

Exploding the Phone: the untold, epic story of the phone phreaks

Phil Lapsley's Exploding the Phone does for the phone phreaks what Steven Levy's Hackers did for computer pioneers, capturing the anarchic move-fast-break-stuff pioneers who went to war against Ma Bell.

TPP leak: states give companies the right to repeal nations' laws

A new Wikileaks-published leak from the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty reveals a January 2015 draft "Investment Chapter" of the agreement, where the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are set out. They allow companies to repeal nations' environmental, health and labor laws. Read the rest

McDonald's sues to block Seattle's minimum wage

They're basing their case on the 14th Amendment, which addressed slavery by guaranteeing all persons equal protection under the law, and since corporations are people, well... Read the rest

America's growing gangs of armed, arrest-making, untrained rent-a-cops

With just a (very) little training and some paperwork, you can become a "special conservator of the peace," empowered to carry a gun, wear a badge and arrest your fellow citizens, all while wearing a POLICE vest, even though you're not a cop. Read the rest

ACT NOW! Congress wants to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Congress is about to introduce a bill that will let the US Trade Representative lock America into the provisions of the secretly negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership, without substantial debate or scrutiny -- including criminal sanctions -- jail! -- for downloading TV shows. Read the rest

Big Content publishes a love-letter to TPP

The secretive, corrupt, illegitimate Trans-Pacific Partnership would bind its members -- including the USA and Canada -- to criminalize file-sharing, putting people in jail for watching TV the wrong way, and that's just fine with the copyright lobbyist group Global Intellectual Property Center. Read the rest

EMI claims it owns copyright to videos of cats purring

Hugh writes, "YouTube's automated takedown tool is known for its flaws, but this week it crossed a line by attacking a purring cat. According to YouTube's Content-ID system both EMI Publishing and PRS own the rights to a 12 second purring loop. The cat in question, Phantom, has filed a dispute and hopes to reclaim his rights." (Thanks, Hugh!) Read the rest

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