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Copyright Maximalism Never Rests: TPP Talks Continue In Singapore

from the unfortunate dept

Despite growing protests and concerns about the next big US trade agreement (with Europe), the discussions on the Trans Pacific Partnership continue to move forward, with the latest round taking place in Singapore this week. And... once again, it's a story of near complete secrecy, and a total lack of transparency. Of key concern, of course, are the sections of the agreement on patents and copyrights, which the public has not seen. There was a leak from over two years ago, but nothing since then. The USTR and others say that they want the agreement completed by this fall, and it is a complete travesty that they have not been willing to share the details publicly. Negotiating a treaty in complete secrecy -- especially when the "input" on the IP chapter is driven by industry stakeholders, rather than the public -- means that the treaty almost certainly is going to be a disaster that is harmful to the public.

What's most amazing is that the USTR doesn't seem to recognize that the playing field has changed since the last time they did this. The rejection of SOPA, followed by the widespread rejection of ACTA (even if the USTR is in total denial about this) shows that the public is not at all willing to accept backroom deals that fundamentally expand bad patent and copyright policies around the globe and (worse) lock us in to things that the public does not believe are legitimate.

The USTR's continued insistence on secrecy, combined with the few leaks of information showing just how extreme a position they're setting out for themselves on patents and copyrights, suggests an organization so totally out of touch that it is destroying its own credibility. Any reasonable organization would recognize that the old backroom negotiations method of creating these kinds of deals is no longer acceptable. That the USTR refuses to admit this only increases awareness of just how out of touch the organization and its leadership remain.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Alana (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:26pm

    But the public ARE the stakeholders.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    btrussell (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:31pm

    Re:

    No, corporations are the steak holders, we only get the sizzle.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    PopeyeLePoteaux, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:36pm

    Losing hope.

    The "credibility" is not the main issue, Mike, they have the money to get their way no matter if they are credible or not.

    I guess all goes to "might is right" mindset which is sad to be honest, I still want to believe that this madness can be stopped somehow, but the most logical/cynical side of me tells me that it is almost certain that the battle is already lost, and seeing how the USTR is trying to resurrect ACTA, and I have no doubt they will bully other countries to get the 6 ratifications needed, and at this point I think they will succeed.

    Only time will tell, I hope the public (me included) will be able to rally against this the same way as with SOPA/PIPA and ACTA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 9:23pm

    when, in the course of human events

    ...

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 9:52pm

    I don't think you understand the negatives that came out of the SOPA hysteria. Prior to SOPA, piracy was an issue that was "out of sight, out of mind" and discussed with more of a wink wink, nudge nudge mentality. To politicians, it was someone else's problem. Afterwards, many in government thought they had been duped, blindsided, and ultimately, manipulated. They were none too happy about this, and as a result were alerted to an issue and environment they knew nothing about prior to SOPA. A rather ironic example of your "Streisand Effect".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 10:01pm

    How is that "Government of the people, by the people" working out for yous.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 10:27pm

    Re:

    Corporations are people, so it's still working.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 11:33pm

    Re:

    There's a fundamental difference between governments failing their people, and the public making the government aware of a false-flag issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    ECA (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 11:58pm

    dONT SAY i DIDNT SAY THIS..

    Think about HOW to keep secrets..
    Do you make much of it PUBLIC? as in the meeting?
    NO..

    We need to find the MAIN group.
    The ones we are seeing are only the Enterouge(sp) the FOREST, that is hiding the trees.
    Think about it..the ones we see..arnt the ones deciding WHAT is to be done.
    We need the NAMEs of the idiots in the background. WE need to MAKE them HEAR US..OR make/show them the PATH to doing things RIGHT.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Beech, Mar 6th, 2013 @ 1:16am

    Re: Re:

    What?! ARE YOU LISTENING TO THE SOUNDS PRODUCED BY MY WONDERFUL STEAK? I hope you were planning on paying the licensing fee for that, you freetard bastard!! This steak is mine, so any sounds made by it are also mine. And God himself help you if you somehow managed to smell a bit of it! Smells, also mine. Your bill is in the mail.

     

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  11.  
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    Beech, Mar 6th, 2013 @ 1:19am

    Re:

    What fucking fantasy world are you living in? The industry has been crying bloody murder about piracy for DECADES. What do you mean it wasn't really discussed until after SOPA? Then what was the DMCA about? Total Bullshit. Go home and try harder

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 1:22am

    Re:

    I don't think you understand the negatives that came out of the SOPA hysteria. Prior to SOPA, piracy was an issue that was "out of sight, out of mind" and discussed with more of a wink wink, nudge nudge mentality. To politicians, it was someone else's problem. Afterwards, many in government thought they had been duped, blindsided, and ultimately, manipulated. They were none too happy about this, and as a result were alerted to an issue and environment they knew nothing about prior to SOPA. A rather ironic example of your "Streisand Effect".

    I mean this in the nicest way possible, but you appear to be living in a fantasy land.

    I mean, maybe in some parallel dimension, but what you describe above is not reality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Beech, Mar 6th, 2013 @ 1:26am

    We just need to ramp up another giant SOPA style protest against this. Once more to the breach! And for Gods sake, once we finally get the attention from it DON'T let the pressure up. KEEP emailing. KEEP calling. Let's melt congress' phones daily, not just once. Change voter habits. Let the idiots in charge see that this isn't just some topical, 1 day protest kind of thing that Google bought/tricked people into. If they refuse to believe that it isn't Google behind it, whatever, let them know that Google has PERMANENTLY tricked/bought us, and that is going to change our vote.

    Instead of protesting just this one treaty, we need to protest the douchebags behind it. Get Ron Kirk's ass fired. Find what lobbyists have been buying him. Find who else they've talked to and get those people fired too. Make public figures afraid to even court ideas from the IP industries.

    Let's turn the internet into political poison. Stand up and say, "This is ours, touch it and die!" (Die is not to be construed as a threat, is referring to their political careers).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 1:30am

    Re:

    "piracy was an issue that was "out of sight, out of mind" and discussed with more of a wink wink, nudge nudge mentality"

    Bollocks.

    The idiots in copyright land have been bleating about piracy for decades.

    VCRs, cassette recorders, MP3 players, Minidisc players, CD burners and many more were all accused of being tools of piracy when they first came out, they were all supposed to bring the death of entertainment. Take your head out of your arse and do some research.

     

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  15.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 2:22am

    They still have 456974 combinations of up to four letters to use in the international and domestic scenarios (26*26*26*26-2=456976-2

     

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  16.  
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    Ninja (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 2:25am

    Re:

    Nice, my comment was cut. I excluded SOPA/PIPA from the domestic scenario and TPP/ACTA from the international.. Now that I think of it you'd need to consider the absence of one letter to include TPP so we have 27 possibilities in the last character or 474552 total. I wonder if they'll add the 5th letter once they reach that limitation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2013 @ 2:43am

    Re:

    Then when the hell were "Don't Copy That Floppy" and "Home Taping is Killing Music" for, then?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2013 @ 2:51am

    Re: Re:

    And the thing is that 28 million corporations are by far more than 222 million voters. Not to mention that less than 6 millions of those employ people and 633.000 have 10 or more employees. Since it is the 633.000 the politicians actually listen to 633.000 > 222.000.000. Now Hollywood math looks textbook!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Mar 6th, 2013 @ 3:14am

    More stupid from the USTR and secret trade agreements, only benefits big content and a few people. Not designed for the public.

    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    Techdirt fanboys are totally committed to free speech -- which to them means links to infringing content!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    gorehound (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 4:49am

    Re: Re:

    And the TPP is a Toilet Paper Pact !
    USTR you are a group of Corrupt A-Hole Human Monkey Beings.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2013 @ 6:27am

    Re:

    If didn't care about copyright infirgent proir to SOPA, the where the hell did the NET Act, DMCA, ACTA, and the Berne Convention come from?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    shane (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 6:34am

    What this means

    Is that there is not enough pressure being put on politicians to stop supporting this sort of thing. I tried a month or two ago to get some folks interested in taking the Aaron Swartz issue to the streets, and even people here were not responsive.

    Web sites are not going to get it done. Even EFF and Demand Progress are not organizing boots on the ground. I went to several Occupy Austin meetings and never got much support either.

    At some point you are going to have to leverage your tech savvy into something sustainable that presses forward with reform rather than constantly fighting a rear guard retreat against what looks more and more like the inevitable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    shane (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 6:47am

    Stakeholders

    This goes back to concepts of who should be allowed to vote. As much as the "middle class" folks at the forefront of democratic movements in the early modern era supported the death of monarchy, they did NOT support democracy. What they supported was plutocracy, and that is what we have - with a few democratic outlets built in for appearances sake, and yes, to alert our leaders when there is a groundswell of resentment building.

    Banking, whether central or not, is a method of centralizing control over the economy. When the government ceases taking payment of taxes in kind or in labor and begins to force us to pay taxes in little paper notes issued by a separate group of private interests, we are in effect being put in the service of these said individuals.

    Intellectual property creates a situation where non-physical goods can be commoditized and thus plugged into this same system.

    Limited liability ensures the owners cannot be held accountable. Corporate owners enjoy immunity to lawsuits similar to the immunity the government itself enjoys.

    The stakeholders are the owners, and have been for pretty much all of human history. We are less, and not more free, than medieval man.

    You are attacking only one branch of the system. Seek out the root. The root is the very concept of owning anything that one does not make themselves or else trade for. If you are not attacking rule by ownership, you are not attacking the actual problem. If there is no rule by ownership, then IP becomes immaterial. Rule must be consensus based, truly of by and for the people rather than merely nominally so.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2013 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re:

    I guess you think the congresswoman I spoke to about the subject is living in fantasy-land as well...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2013 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re:

    Only certain congress people had to deal with those issues. With SOPA, virtually every one of them were inundated with phone calls about something that was not on their radar.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    nasch (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re:

    I wonder if they'll add the 5th letter once they reach that limitation.

    Well at an average of 6 treaties per year (assuming they will accelerate), that would take just over 79,000 years. So if human civilization is still around, I doubt anyone but historians will remember what the word "copyright" means. It will be like those laws you laugh about, banning eating a pickle in public on Mondays.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Ruben, Mar 6th, 2013 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    As do the majority of politicians.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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