USTR Lies: Says TPP Is No Different Than US Law

from the except-it-does dept

Soon after the TPP IP chapter was leaked via Wikileaks, we predicted that the USTR would claim that it doesn't require legal changes in the US and was just about harmonizing norms. It took all of a day for that prediction to come true. In US Trade Rep Michael Froman's interview with Variety, he said exactly that:
“what we have in there are things that are already in U.S. law about making sure, whether it is copyright or other protections, are fully enforced around the world.”
That is a lie. It's fundamentally untrue. For example, in just the copyright section alone, Margot Kaminski from the Information Society Project at Yale has outlined eight things that differ from US law in the text proposed or supported by the US, some of them rather substantial, including the standards for criminal liability as well as the standards allowed for reverse engineering exemptions for DRM. Jamie Love, over at KEI, pointed out early on that many of the US proposals "are more restrictive than U.S. laws." Also, as we expected, the language on the "three step test," which the USTR pretended was about supporting fair use, actually would massively limit fair use.

Of course, as we pointed out with ACTA and again with TPP, even if it was just about taking things that are in US law and making sure they're "fully enforced around the world" (which is not actually what TPP is about), it would ridiculously lock in a bunch of bad things that are in US law, which pretty much everyone not under the full-time sway of Hollywood already knows has been really bad for the US economy and creativity. The very fact that this agreement would effectively block many of the suggestions made by the head of the US Copyright Office to Congress in terms of copyright reform should show why the USTR has no business doing anything around copyright.

Who in their right mind would try to export US law and lock us into it at the very same time that the experts in the field of law they're talking about have admitted that it's outdated and a mess and in need of a major rewrite? Apparently, the USTR is so clueless that it thinks existing copyright law is settled law and that it's so great we should lock it in and force everyone else to do the same, at the very same time Congress, the head of the Copyright Office, and a lot of other people have admitted it's time for a change.

So why is the USTR blindly pushing ahead with it?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Nov 19th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    Money, dear boy!

    Who else is going to give them millions of dollars of bribe money?

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    arcan, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    So why is the USTR blindly pushing ahead with it?


    simple, they are being paid to.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    Blindly?

    They know they want this. They want to make it easier for their propaganda mouthpieces to have monopolies on all culture and information. No powerful empire would even let an opposing voice out that doesn't border on parody. They want to suck those they haven't killed off or imprisoned dry.

    And if things don't go their way, they'll whine some more and push for something even worse, assuming there's anything left.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 1:39pm

    'So why is the USTR blindly pushing ahead with it?'

    just guessing but

    a) because those sorting it out have been encouraged to do so, particularly by Hollywood and the entertainment industries

    b) if they can get this brought into agreement with a dozen other nations carried along, it is going to massively benefit the USA while being as equally detrimental to those other nations by limiting what they can do for their own people; by forcing the purchase of USA drugs and media at prices set by the USA that the people of those other nations couldn't afford; by removing the option of changing any part of the 'treaty' without agreement from the USA, which would never happen.

    c) once this is in force with these dozen nations, it would be used as a means to force other nations to agree to the one sided conditions as well, all of which would again benefit the USA whilst being detrimental to all other nations. dont forget that if any other nation at any time tries to do something similar to what the USA is doing, there will be all sorts of threats from the USA to whichever nation is in question.

    the aim is to basically take over the control of the other nations by ruling their economies and their internet capabilities. it is an occupation akin to winning a war with no shots being fired and no lives lost, not until, that is, the poor in the other nations start to die because they are forced to either go without medicines or pay x1000 for USA supplied drugs! anyone in the USA pharma industries that haven't been behind this can be counted on one hand. anyone that gives a toss about those people amount to zero! so much for a democratic nation that does it's best to help all others at all times. i think that has changed to who helps itself to the detriment of all others!!

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

    So they want to force their corrupt laws on the rest of the world too.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 1:58pm

    I would love to live in a world where officials making these statements do so under threat of perjury. Genuine threat, not NSA official to congress threat. Genuine threat, not DMCA threat.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    It's simple. The USTR is a wholly owned subsidiary of the MAFIAA, just like Congress.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    Please stay the F out of my country. I don't want your backwards copyright laws. Ours are sensible already (Canada)

     

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

  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

    "So why is the USTR blindly pushing ahead with it?"

    Gee, Mike, maybe you're just too blind to see the globalist corporatist conspiracy right in front of your nose. For a few million tops, everyone necessary can be bribed to go along with a scam that'll net trillions. Go'vt policy is always the best "investment" for corporations.

    TPP: NAFTA on Steroids

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade deal from hell. It's a stealth corporate coup d'etat.

    It's a giveaway to banksters. It's a global neoliberal ripoff. It's a business empowering Trojan horse. It's a freedom and ecosystem destroying nightmare.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls it "a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement."


    http://www.activistpost.com/2013/11/tpp-nafta-on-steroids.html

    By the way, Mike, that's as a real writer produces, not brief re-writes ending with rhetorical question.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Nov 19th, 2013 @ 2:11pm

    Re:

    So, Blue, how come you're still willing to defend Warner Bros. when you keep going on about a Global Conspiracy theory involving businesses?

     

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

  11. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 2:12pm

    Re: @ AC: MPAA has little to do with TPP: that's just Mike's mis-casting.

    @ just guessing but

    a) because those sorting it out have been encouraged to do so, particularly by Hollywood and the entertainment industries


    It's far larger than MPAA, and that Mike doesn't even get near to mentioning the major corporations just shows that he's a corporatist and/or lightweight.

    Read this article and you won't have to guess:

    http://www.activistpost.com/2013/11/tpp-nafta-on-steroids.html

     

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

  12. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re:

    @ "silverscarcat" So, Blue, how come you're still willing to defend Warner Bros. when you keep going on about a Global Conspiracy theory involving businesses?


    a) I've explained that I side with Warner Bros narrowly over you nasty little pirates: the former are producers, you're just petty sneak thieves.

    b) So how come you're not concerned about actual globalists and their corporations which plan to take over the world and are well begun on it? Read the linked article.

    c) It's difficult to make progress when tiny minds like yours are too small to grasp the real threats.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 2:20pm

    Re:

    Well, that is a bit... However, it is true that USTR is owned by large companies, including several members with significant affiliation to the RIAA and MPAA.

    USTR is not a true government entity. It is a government mouthpiece for large industries. Unfortunately the politicians fear holding them back, resulting in deals void of workers, consumers and NGO opinions.

    As an official negotiation team for USAs government, USTRs construction is completely insufficient.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    hunar, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

    Yeah, the Kaminski post raises an interesting point: how can the TPP possibly contradict the Kirtsaeng decision? It's one thing to push through TPP and then get Congress to change the laws, but what can they do to nullify a Supreme Court ruling?

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    If it is no different than US law, he has argued that we don't need the TPP. It's as simple as that.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: @ AC: MPAA has little to do with TPP: that's just Mike's mis-casting.

    nice try blue, but you and everyone else here know damn well that the copyright sections are most relevant to this blog.

    you might as well complain that video game magazines don't cover lady gaga's newest music videos

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    the Conscious Catholic, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 3:40pm

    Re:

    Not as much now since almost half of congress is not happy about fast track

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Nov 19th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow...

    A: Warner Bros. don't produce anything, they're the backers, the directors produce stuff.

    B: Who says I'm NOT concerned about that stuff? But by stopping copyright from getting worse, it makes their jobs harder.

    C: You really shouldn't insult yourself like that, man. I mean, we know you have a hard time doing critical thinking, but no need to say that you have a tiny mind.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 3:55pm

    Re:

    Don't be so sure about that. Don't you Canucks have the 50 cent per CD-R MAFIAA tax, ya know, because pirates use CD-R's?

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Nov 19th, 2013 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re:

    Saying they aren't happy with it is one thing, voting against it quite another.

    Call me cynical, but I'll wait until the votes are tallied before I take them at their word that they really do object to handing over their job like that.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    A) Wait wait wait, WB is a 'producer' but talk about an corporation outside the context of copyrights with you and they're a scum sucking leech that extracts all the value from their workers labor and profits from it. Double standard much?

    B) Your point being that if you care about the copyright provisions in the TPP you're incapable of caring about any of the others?

    C) After the circular logic, the hypocrisy, and the straw men have been expended it always boils down to a lame ad hom with you doesn't it.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 5:07pm

    Even if it were accurate that the provisions in the TPP matched current statues it still would be a lie to say it is no different than US law because it is inherent to US law that it be mutable to a mandate from the masses.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 5:15pm

    "things that are already in U.S. law "

    except that - oh wait - no it's not

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Re:

    What I'd like to know is how we ended up with such a collection of spineless, gutless wonders in Congress. If these folks can't stand up to any "Threat, foreign or domestic" what the hell are they doing there? They're certainly not defending or supporting the Constitution.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, but when the voting happens we'll find out that less then 49% are so affected.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re:

    Which is strange because rotating disks have gone the way of tape cassettes and will soon vanish just like them.

    {Hint to pirates: start using cassettes or 8-track cartridges (containing high bit density tape, of course) again for data transport. No one knows what to do with them now.}

     

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

  27. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2013 @ 9:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: @ AC: MPAA has little to do with TPP: that's just Mike's mis-casting.

    Mike Masnick just hates it when copyright law is enforced.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 12:22am

    Can I just say that this is the "lies to children" fallacy writ large?

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 3:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    average_joe just hates it when due process is enforced. DMCAed, you little bitch!

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Gerrymandering and political polarization. When people start to think for themselves, it'll change, and not one moment before.

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Nov 20th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ AC: MPAA has little to do with TPP: that's just Mike's mis-casting.

    More like he hates it when the Copyfraud alliance abuses copyright law to get away with doing anything they want.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Kronomex, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    Here in Australia our new Prime Minister wants the TPP signed, sealed, and delivered by the end of the year. Since the information about this travesty was leaked we haven't heard a word so I'm guessing that he still wants to sign away more of our rights to the altar of corporate US greed.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2013 @ 9:33pm

    Re:

    Might be interesting if you could find out how much he's being paid to push this through.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 6:05am

    Re:

    TPP is all about trying to represent commercial interests from the countries involved. The real trick is to get the formulations in line with the law.

    Just pushing the line of "no laws will change" is very likely to be true about the end-result, but the real value of trade agreements is their ability to shatter specific jurisprudence and thereby force a new interpretation of the laws that is more to the liking of the negotiating parties. It has the added bonus of soft-locking legislation and making some reforms almost impossible to pass on account of "international obligations".

    I don't know about constitutional issues and therefore SCOTUS jurisprudence, but in general all jurisprudence has to be reinterpreted.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This