Tag Archive: copyright


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Groups Issue Warning: Pro-Corporate TPP Could Kill the Internet

“What we’re talking about here is global Internet censorship.”

Digital rights groups warn that TPP “will criminalize our online activities, censor the Web, and cost everyday users money.” (Photo: Getty)

The “disastrous” pro-corporate trade deal finalized Monday could kill the Internet as we know it, campaigners are warning, as they vow to keep up the fight against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement between the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim nations.

“Internet users around the world should be very concerned about this ultra-secret pact,” said OpenMedia’s digital rights specialist Meghan Sali. “What we’re talking about here is global Internet censorship. It will criminalize our online activities, censor the Web, and cost everyday users money. This deal would never pass with the whole world watching—that’s why they’ve negotiated it in total secrecy.”

“The TPP will criminalize our online activities, censor the Web, and cost everyday users money. This deal would never pass with the whole world watching—that’s why they’ve negotiated it in total secrecy.” —Meghan Sali, Open Media

TPP opponents have claimed that under the agreement, “Internet Service Providers could be required to ‘police’ user activity (i.e. police YOU), take down Internet content, and cut people off from Internet access for common user-generated content.”

Among the deal’s provisions are rules that could criminalize file-sharing, whistleblowing, and breaking digital locks, even for legitimate purposes. Of course, because the contents of the pact have been negotiated largely in secret, the exact implications of the TPP on user rights is yet to be seen.

However, Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) Maira Sutton wrote on Monday, “We have no reason to believe that the TPP has improved much at all from the last leaked version released in August, and we won’t know until the U.S. Trade Representative releases the text. So as long as it contains a retroactive 20-year copyright term extension, bans on circumventing DRM, massively disproportionate punishments for copyright infringement, and rules that criminalize investigative journalists and whistleblowers, we have to do everything we can to stop this agreement from getting signed, ratified, and put into force.”

Furthermore, “The fact that close to 800 million Internet users’ rights to free expression, privacy, and access to knowledge online hinged upon the outcome of squabbles over trade rules on cars and milk is precisely why digital policy consideration[s] do not belong in trade agreements,” Sutton added, referring to the auto and dairy tariff provisions that reportedly held up the talks.

“The fact that close to 800 million Internet users’ rights to free expression, privacy, and access to knowledge online hinged upon the outcome of squabbles over trade rules on cars and milk is precisely why digital policy consideration[s] do not belong in trade agreements.”  —Maira Sutton, EFF

With a major protest against the TPP and other secret trade deals planned for November in Washington, D.C., EFF is crowdsourcing slogans related to how the TPP threatens digital rights and freedoms around the world.

“Successive leaks of the TPP have demonstrated that unless you are a big business sector, the [U.S. Trade Representative, or USTR] simply doesn’t care what you have to say,” wrote EFF’s Jeremy Malcolm.

“Enough’s enough,” reads the group’s call-to-action. “The time for whitepapers and presentations is past. The USTR has failed us, so now it’s time for the public to rise up and take their message about the TPP’s threats to user rights to Congress, which has the ultimate authority to approve or reject the deal for the United States.”

Several major ISPs embroiled in a copyright lawsuit with an adult film copyright holder are appealing a ruling in the case that could permit hundreds of innocent subscribers to be harassed by copyright trolls.

The reversal was requested in papers [PDF] filed last week in the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia by Cox Communications; Bright House Networks, which is owned by Time Warner; and Verizon.

Wants subscriber names

In the case—AF Holdings v. Does 1-1058 and Cox Communications, et. al.—the copyright holders allege that 1058 “John Does” engaged in file-sharing through BitTorrent of a sexually explicit film.

As part of the discovery process in the case, AF Holdings wants Cox and the other ISPs to turn over to them personal information on the John Does. The order came from a federal district court judge, Beryl A. Howell, a former lobbyist for the RIAA and Senate staffer who worked on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a federal law aimed to protect the rights of copyright holders in cyberspace.

beryl howell federal district court judge
Judge Beryl A. Howell

The ISPs are asking the appeals court to overturn Howell’s decision ordering the disclosure of subscribers’ names as part of evidence discovery.

According to the ISPs, AF Holdings and its attorneys aren’t interested in obtaining the names of the alleged infringers to pursue their case in court, but in order to squeeze settlement money from the subscribers.

 

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Politics and  Legislation

Who can shut down cell phone service? FCC seeks public comment

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/who-can-shut-down-cell-phone-service-fcc-seeks-public-comment.ars

When does the enemy of our enemy stay our enemy and not our friend?

http://www.darkpolitricks.com/2012/03/enemy-enemy-stay-enemy-friend/

US government ultimately paid bail for Egypt NGOs

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL2E8E2B0F20120302

US Congress passes authoritarian anti-protest law

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/prot-m03.shtml

Illinois judge: law barring recording police is unconstitutional

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/illinois-judge-law-barring-recording-police-is-unconstitutional.ars

Has the Time Come to Start Taxing Online Game Currency?

http://www.allgov.com/Unusual_News/ViewNews/Has_the_Time_Come_to_Start_Taxing_Online_Game_Currency_120304

Economy

Dept. of Energy signs agreements to develop small nuclear generators

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2012/03/dept-of-energy-signs-agreements-to-develop-small-nuclear-generators.ars

World Bank demands further pro-market measures in China

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/wbnk-m05.shtml

Perruchot report exposes French unions’ ties to the ruling class

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/perr-m05.shtml

Spain to extradite Mubarak associate to Egypt over gas deal with Israel

Yossi Maiman’s partner in the natural gas deal between Egypt and Israel is accused of making illegal profits from gas sales to Israel.

http://www.haaretz.com/business/spain-to-extradite-mubarak-associate-to-egypt-over-gas-deal-with-israel-1.416304?localLinksEnabled=false

Matt Taibbi: Bank of America is a “raging hurricane of theft and fraud”

http://fthebanks.org/matt-taibbi-on-bank-of-america/

In Person: Former Reagan aide Stockman fears another collapse

David Stockman, former wunderkind of the Reagan revolution, is now an advocate for higher taxes, a critic of the work that made him rich and a scared investor who doesn’t own a single stock for fear of another financial crisis.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017652086_inpersonstockman05.html

Asia stocks down after Obama’s tough talk on Iran

Asian stock markets fell Monday as tough talk by President Barack Obama over Iran’s nuclear program and uncertainty over Greece’s ability to clear the next hurdle in its debt reduction plan unnerved investors.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017667732_apworldmarkets.html

Glencore benefits from price rise for commodities

Commodities giant Glencore International PLC says it full-year profit rose 7 percent in 2011 to reach $4.06 billion.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017668174_apeuswitzerlandearnsglencore.html

Environmental

Deepwater Oil Drilling Picks Up Again as BP Disaster Fades

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/05/business/deepwater-oil-drilling-accelerates-as-bp-disaster-fades.html?ref=todayspaper

6,800 tons of radiation-tainted rice straw left lying in 8 prefectures

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120303p2a00m0na010000c.html

From broken temp sensors to leaky pipes, Fukushima nuke plant plagued with problems

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120303p2a00m0na008000c.html

Wars  and  Rumors  of War

US to Attempt Overthrow of Putin Government

http://www.blacklistednews.com/US_to_Attempt_Overthrow_of_Putin_Government/18276/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Britain considers air strikes against Somali insurgents

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/soma-m05.shtml

The U.S. Strategy to Control Middle Eastern Oil: “One of the Greatest Material Prizes in World History”

http://www.blacklistednews.com/The_U.S._Strategy_to_Control_Middle_Eastern_Oil%3A_%E2%80%9COne_of_the_Greatest_Material_Prizes_in_World_History%E2%80%9D/18270/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Senior U.S. senator calls for arming Syria rebels

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/04/us-syria-usa-senators-idUSTRE8230LZ20120304

Secret State Agencies: ‘No Hard Evidence’ Iran Building Nukes, March to War Continues

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Secret_State_Agencies%3A_%27No_Hard_Evidence%27_Iran_Building_Nukes%2C_March_to_War_Continues/18272/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Israel to sell $1.6 billion in arms to Iran’s neighbor Azerbaijan

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2017606201_azerbaijan27.html

Israel delivers ultimatum to Barack Obama on Iran’s nuclear plans

At Monday’s meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama the Israeli prime minister will deliver a stark warning, reports Adrian Blomfield in Jerusalem

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9121433/Israel-delivers-ultimatum-to-Barack-Obama-on-Irans-nuclear-plans.html

British Propagandist in Syria: The Good Guys?

http://www.blacklistednews.com/British_Propagandist_in_Syria%3A_The_Good_Guys%3F/18261/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Netanyahu praises Obama’s AIPAC speech

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=260432

U.S. Backers of Israel Pressure Obama Over Policy on Iran

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/world/middleeast/israels-backers-in-aipac-press-obama-to-harden-iran-policy.html?_r=1

CIA ex-chief lauds Stuxnet virus use against Iran

http://www.legitgov.org/CIA-ex-chief-lauds-Stuxnet-virus-use-against-Iran

New poll shows Israelis oppose military strike on Iran

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/229632.html

US prepares to refuel Israeli planes striking Iran: Report

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/229601.html

Misc

Megaupload takedown a “death sentence without trial,” says Kim Dotcom

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/megaupload-got-a-death-sentence-without-trial-says-kim-dotcom-in-first-tv-interview.ars

Copyright kings are judge, jury and executioner on YouTube

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/

German intelligence agencies expand monitoring of Internet

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/germ-m05.shtml

Angry Birds, Meet Jailbirds: New App Helps You Snitch on Your Friends

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/app-homeland-security/

CIA ex-chief lauds Stuxnet virus use against Iran