TPP IP Chapter Available For Discussion And Annotation At RapGenius

from the get-busy dept

If we had a truly transparent USTR (hahah, I know, stop laughing), it might have done something like what CCIA's Matt Schruers just did: posting the latest known version of the IP Chapter of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement to the annotation site RapGenius to allow for annotation and discussion over the document. Schruers notes, correctly, that the claims that TPP is "SOPA 2.0" are greatly exaggerated, but that there are still plenty of significant reasons to be quite concerned about the TPP -- and that's why there should be a real discussion about the actual text -- something the USTR has steadfastly avoided for years.

U.S. experts may have concerns about the extent to which TPP accurately reflects U.S. law, and — assuming it does — whether locking in some provisions (and not others) via agreement is sound policy. Similarly, experts from other TPP countries may question whether adopting various provisions of U.S. law is desirable in their national legal system. Several already have. This is a question more complex than “is this SOPA 2?”, however, and it requires careful study of various provisions.

To that end, we want to enable experts and interested parties to edit/mark up the leaked TPP text, which is where Rap Genius comes in. Rap Genius is very effective for this purpose: it enables user-friendly, HTML-enabled crowd-sourced annotation to anyone online. Users may add their own annotations, comment on mine, or add suggestions to improve the text.

Of course, it should also be noted that some ridiculously believe that RapGenius itself is a "pirate" site. And, some others might point out that RapGenius itself is a bit of a closed system, whereas it might be nicer to use an open annotation system like Hypothes.is (though that organization has indicated it may do something similar). But, given the fact that RapGenius works now and is fairly easy to use, it seems like a good choice for today's situation. And, indeed, as you go through the annotations already up on the site, there's plenty of insightful content, looking at the various proposals and provisions in this leaked copy of the document, allowing for a real discussion about what's being negotiated, rather than blanket platitudes that the USTR and its defenders have been pushing out about the agreement.

The really sad thing, of course, is that the USTR would never think to do something like this itself. Indeed, it would argue heavily against such a move, highlighting the simple fact that the USTR has, and continues to be, totally against transparency in what it's doing with the TPP and other trade agreements.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 5:07am

    Wouldn't it be nice if governments put all bills up for discussion, but then that would enable democracy and weaken party politics and government bureaucracies. Still one can dream that one day governments will learn to use the Internet.

     

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

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 5:15am

    Re:

    My thoughts exactly.

    We're well past the point where gathering a tiny subset of the population in a room and making them vote y/n on a predetermined document is a valid form of governing.

     

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

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 5:45am

    Re:

    And avoiding the inevitable trolling when the novelty of the approach is over and most laws are less significant? It sounds... interesting, but I think it would end up like "We The People" unless the corporate media supports the idea (why should they?).

     

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

  4.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 21st, 2013 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re:

    It made at least some sense when communications were limited to the speed of a horse, or later on train, but in a time when you have instant communication on a global scale... not so much.

    Unfortunately, it's not anywhere close to a simple fix, while I agree the tech makes it entirely feasible for large scale, public involvement in government, at this stage that would involve pretty much dismantling the previous system, and ironing out the new, as well as a massive shift in how people see, treat, and interact with the government.

    Something to aim for to be sure, but it'll be one heck of a bumpy ride getting there.

     

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

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 6:05am

    Re: @ "Still one can dream that one day governments will learn to use the Internet."

    THEY HAVE. IT'S A SPY GRID. It makes panopticon systems technically feasible.

    It's you dreamers unable to see reality that allow gov'ts and corporations to extend control -- heck, YOU even pay for the "smart" spy in your pocket that locates you continually and and allows skimming all your text and voice messages, besides real-time recording whenever wanted. -- If you weren't a dreamer, you'd regard that gadget with horror.

    And, again, Mike and whosit here have so mis-stated what TPP is that they're lying; try this:

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

    Google. Making your life better by spying right up to the creepy limit. (tm) -- And soon as you're used to it, we get creepier!

    02:04:55[c-17-1]

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah I know, this is the way it's done and we're stuck with it for at least 25 years (until we have a net savvy generation in control).

    Still I'd love to see baby steps towards it. Systems like this can only be helpful when writing laws; it's like coding more people looking means more bugs found.

     

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  7.  
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    Techanon, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 7:52am

    Re:

    I know of at least one country that actually does put some bills up for discussion (and even for voting to get statistics) online.

     

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

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 8:58am

    must say i'm surprised there is no release that Rap Genius is to be prosecuted for treason or some such ridiculous charge for letting some of the 'interested parties' see what has been 'negotiated' without them, but on their behalf! the USG i am sure is looking at what can be done to scare the crap out of everyone else that thought about reposting this info. i mean, how dare someone tell the largest section of interested parties, the People, what crap was coming their way next! it was supposed to be secret until too late to stop!

     

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

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 10:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Imagine that laws are like lines of code and that everyone will download a copy of it, then everyone could modify it and share it with others, and we count how many versions others have, one could get fancy and plot that on something like openstreetmaps(heat map overlay) and show penetration of the issues being discussed.

    Although this law was posted on RapGenius it would be better on sourceforge or Github.

    http://government.github.com/

    There should be a cellphone app for that, so people could use their cellphones to carry the laws they care about with them, maybe even with a locator to alert you when you are near somebody else that agrees with you and downloaded the same fork of the law that you did.

    What GitHub is lacking is a kind of mind map for easy visualization of the purpose of the law, why is needed, the arguments against and in favor of it so anybody could get up to speed in the least amount of time and maybe even use ant colony optimization to find out which arguments are being more debated and why.

    This is the kind of revolution needed.

     

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

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 10:33am

    Dear Techdirt,

    I have a suggestion.

    Open a GitHub account and upload the laws we discuss here to it.

    http://government.github.com/projects/

    Lets start rewriting the OS code for governments.

     

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

  11. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 10:36am

    TPP IP Chapter Available For Discussion And Annotation At RapGenius

    Oh, fo-shizzle. A rapper crowd-sourced trade agreement. Much respec. Word.

    And you wonder why your side gets no traction?

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re:

    We're well past the point where gathering a tiny subset of the population in a room and making them vote y/n on a predetermined document is a valid form of governing.

    That tiny subset was voted into that capacity of millions of Americans. Are you planning to open a constitutional convention to move to replace our representative democracy with crowd sourcing?

     

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

  13.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Nov 21st, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re:

    Oh, fo-shizzle. A rapper crowd-sourced trade agreement. Much respec. Word.



    Ahhh. You are attacking this idea based on the name of the website.

    This displays two things:

    1) You are an idiot in a hurry. RapGenius although targeted at the Rap crowd, has expanded into a lot of genres and stuff beyond music lyrics.

    2) Your obvious (and lame) ad-homs indicate that you apparently have no real argument against this idea.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Put the infra structure in place and sure people will crowdsource laws, they can even coordinate to vote the whole of congress out and put in a new one that will follow through with the reforms they want and can agree upon it.

    Isn't that magical?

    The Tea Party got close they got voters organized is just they didn't had any laws to put there and that is why they failed, get concrete laws written and debated in public(the plan) and get the voters and replace the deaf congress we have today with a more agreeable one that listen to the public.

    Also people should map non-elected position inside the government and start replacing those with people who actually care about the job and not the connections.

    Now that would be a revolution a bloodless one and the public can even use the security apparatus to go after the ol' boys and girls that screwed them over and over and over again for decades, now that would be funny wouldn't?

     

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

  15. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 2:03pm

    Re: Re:

    You are an idiot in a hurry

    Who you talkin' to bitch? I slap de grills out yo mouf. Peace out!

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 2:08pm

    Re:

    wow, racist much asshole?

    Now I know why you're always an anonymous coward. Shit talking like that would bite back in real life.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Have you been training spanking your own wookie?
    Oh now I am scared.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 21st, 2013 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The Tea Party got close they got voters organized is just they didn't had any laws to put there and that is why they failed


    Well, that and the fact that they look and sound like a bunch of extremists whose goals don't agree with the majority of the people in the US.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Racist? They all speak English about as fluently as Tarzan. Black, white, Hispanic. None seem to be able to speak intelligibly.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Pretty certain that TPP, as was SOPA and ACTA, were drafted by either black, white or Hispanic people.

    Since you've verified that none of them can speak intelligibly we can therefore state without a doubt that TPP and the other copyright laws were not written, drafted or proposed with a shred of intelligence, and as a result, must be rejected at full force.

    Thank you.

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Nov 21st, 2013 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    '...representative democracy...'

    Sorry but, what representative democracy? One of the biggest issues these days is how those elected to represent the people no longer do so, and instead 'represent' large companies, corporate interests, and the government over the people.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ummmm, I was talking about rappers as you know.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2013 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If that's true, why haven't they been voted out of office? Or a better question: When are you going to run and show everyone how it's done?

     

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

  24.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Nov 22nd, 2013 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Voted out and replaced with who? Both parties are just as bad, as the system itself is corrupted, with the only real differences between the two, once you get past the window-dressing, being minor.

    As for the second, I'm not nearly that insane and/or power hungry, am capable of seeing issues in more than black and white, and tend to be far too blunt, all qualities that would effectively disqualify a person from public office.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2013 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Alright then, it's time to ignore Nelly and Eminem ranting "you can buy a computer, you can buy a CD" and download all the things. Y'know, on the grounds that they can't speak intelligibly.

     

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


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