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USTR Insults The Intelligence Of Legal Scholars After They Challenge Him On Lack Of TPP Transparency

www.techdirt.com
As another round of negotiations over the TPP agreement is ongoing in Dallas, a group of legal scholars have sent an open letter to the USTR, Ron Kirk, decrying the ridiculous lack of transparency that has been driven in large part by the policies of the USTR, which seem almost...
USTR Insults The Intelligence Of Legal Scholars After They Challenge Him On Lack Of TPP Transparency

USTR Nominee Froman Called 'One Of The Most Egregious Examples Of The Way The Revolving Door Works Between Gov't And Business'

www.techdirt.com
After posting a bit about Michael Froman, the new nominee for USTR, I was already skeptical that he'd be any improvement over the predecessor, Ron Kirk. After all, Froman was deeply involved in three of the worst free trade agreements that the US has negotiated over the past few years,...
USTR Nominee Froman Called 'One Of The Most Egregious Examples Of The Way The Revolving Door Works Between Gov't And Business'

Darell Issa Puts Old Leaked TPP IP Text Up For Discussion

www.techdirt.com
We've written a few times now about Rep. Darrell Issa, and the Madison platform his office has set up to allow for crowdsourcing opinion on legislation and other government documents. He originally used it for his OPEN Act, but then later posted the text of ACTA as well. His latest...
Darell Issa Puts Old Leaked TPP IP Text Up For Discussion

New USTR Nominated; Will He Commit To Transparency?

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President Obama has nominated Michael Froman to be the new USTR, to take over for Ron Kirk who stepped down recently. Most of the stories on Froman note that he's well known in this space and has been a key player in a number of trade agreements -- including with...
New USTR Nominated; Will He Commit To Transparency?

Could The Special 301 Report Be Useful? Proposed Law Would Broaden It To Condemn Internet Censorship

www.techdirt.com
For years, we've highlighted the USTR's silly "Special 301" report, in which it lists out "naughty" countries who aren't doing enough to meet Hollywood and the Pharma industry's definitions of what intellectual property laws should look like. This is based on no real methodology, other than that each year, the...
Could The Special 301 Report Be Useful? Proposed Law Would Broaden It To Condemn Internet Censorship

Administration Asks For Public Input On Intellectual Property Enforcement

techdirt.com
As part of the mis-named ProIP act, the newly created IP Enforcement Coordinator (generally called the IP Czar) is supposed to help figure out what an effective "intellectual property enforcement strategy" would be. While we have questions about why this position or this plan is really needed in the first...
Administration Asks For Public Input On Intellectual Property Enforcement

Dear Ron Kirk: Transparency Isn't Hearing From Critics, It's Telling The Public What You're Doing

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We've been spending a lot of time talking about just how secretive the USTR (led by its boss Ron Kirk) has been concerning the TPP negotiations. However, what may be even worse isn't just Ron Kirk's stonewalling, it's the fact that he either does not know what transparency means, or...
Dear Ron Kirk: Transparency Isn't Hearing From Critics, It's Telling The Public What You're Doing
US proposes new copyright provision in major international treaty

Spanish Government Bows Down To US Pressures Again, Pushes SOPA-Like Law To Appease Hollywood

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While Spain actually has a fairly vibrant culture and entertainment industry, Hollywood has really had it in for the country for some time, in part because Spanish courts had a more evolved recognition of secondary liability protections, such that they ruled that linking is not infringement, and that neither was...
Spanish Government Bows Down To US Pressures Again, Pushes SOPA-Like Law To Appease Hollywood

MPAA To USTR: More Shutdowns Like Megaupload, Please

www.techdirt.com
The USTR has released the various comments sent in for its annual "notorious markets" report. This is related to its annual Special 301 report, and it's where the USTR basically takes the list of sites and countries that the entertainment industry (and the pharmaceutical industry) don't like... and declares them...
MPAA To USTR: More Shutdowns Like Megaupload, Please

Hollywood Lobbyist Hasn't Seen The TPP Text, Cannot Read The TPP Text, But Knows What's In The TPP Text?

www.techdirt.com
The Daily Dot's Kevin Collier has a detailed article about his experience as a journalist at the latest TPP negotiating round. He talks mainly about the various "stakeholder" presentations, which are the only access concerned groups have to the negotiators. As we've already noted, the USTR made sure to limit...
Hollywood Lobbyist Hasn't Seen The TPP Text, Cannot Read The TPP Text, But Knows What's In The TPP Text?

USTR's Surprise Turnaround: Now Advocating Limitations & Exceptions To Copyright

www.techdirt.com
One of the big complaints about ACTA and SOPA and the like was the extreme maximalist positions that they entailed, without recognizing the very important exceptions and limitations that can often be even more important in encouraging culture and creativity. The version of the US's recommendations on the IP chapter...
USTR's Surprise Turnaround: Now Advocating Limitations & Exceptions To Copyright

USTR Pushing Excessive SOPA-Style Liability In China

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We've pointed out that the spectacular public uprising that led to the death of SOPA has made it such that Congress is now quite worried about pushing copyright legislation. But... we fully expected there to be attempts to sneak things through in other ways, including through international treaties and agreements....
USTR Pushing Excessive SOPA-Style Liability In China

Why You Should Be Terrified Of A Free Trade Agreement You've Never Heard Of [Infographic]

www.readwriteweb.com
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the most influential piece of recent legal work you've probably never heard of. Can a Free Trade Agreement really threaten Internet freedom, redefine copyright and alter the course of global healthcare? You bet. What The TPP Is According to the Office of the United States...
Why You Should Be Terrified Of A Free Trade Agreement You've Never Heard Of [Infographic]

Lawsuits Filed In Colombia To Challenge Local Version Of SOPA

www.techdirt.com
You may remember that, a couple months ago, Colombia rushed through its own version of a SOPA-like copyright law. The details were particularly horrifying. Last fall, the US and Colombia signed a "free trade agreement" (FTA). Tragically, like many FTAs put together by the USTR these days, it included something...
Lawsuits Filed In Colombia To Challenge Local Version Of SOPA

Next TPP Negotiation Session Has Only 3 Hours Allotted For Negotiators To Talk To Public Interest Advocates

www.techdirt.com
The USTR's handling of public interest access to TPP negotiators has bounced around over the last few negotiating sessions, with many suggesting that last months' meetings in San Diego were actually handled somewhat decently. However, with the upcoming negotiating round in Virginia, apparently there's no more time to be talking...
Next TPP Negotiation Session Has Only 3 Hours Allotted For Negotiators To Talk To Public Interest Advocates

New IP Watchlist Ranks Countries On How Well Their Copyright Laws Serve The Public

www.techdirt.com
We've written plenty about the absolutely ridiculous Special 301 Report put out each year by the USTR. It's a list that the US uses to name and shame countries that it considers "naughty" when it comes to not passing intellectual property laws that the US likes. Of course, there is...
New IP Watchlist Ranks Countries On How Well Their Copyright Laws Serve The Public

USTR Releases Ridiculous 'Naughty' Special 301 List For Countries Who Don't Pass Silly Laws Hollywood Wants

www.techdirt.com
Every year around this time, the USTR puts out its increasingly laughable Special 301 Report, which merely takes the countries that IP maxmalists say are bad, and officially declares them naughty. The 2012 list has come out (pdf and embedded below) and it's as silly and pointless as usual. Canada...
USTR Releases Ridiculous 'Naughty' Special 301 List For Countries Who Don't Pass Silly Laws Hollywood Wants

Obama Administration: ACTA Is Binding & Don't Worry Your Pretty Little Heads About TPP

www.techdirt.com
We've covered how Senator Wyden has been pressing the administration on ACTA and TPP concerning the process behind both agreements. The State Department has now responded by admitting that ACTA is, in fact, binding on the United States. Under international law, the ACTA is a legally binding international agreement. By...
Obama Administration: ACTA Is Binding & Don't Worry Your Pretty Little Heads About TPP

The SOPA/PIPA Protest Shows Why There Needs To Be Complete Transparency With TPP

www.techdirt.com
Lawyer Jonathan Band has written up an execllent analysis for why what happened with SOPA/PIPA (pdf) demonstrates why the Obama administration and the USTR in particular must be significantly more transparent when it comes to TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. TPP, of course, is the evil stepchild of ACTA. Rather...
The SOPA/PIPA Protest Shows Why There Needs To Be Complete Transparency With TPP

Once Again, Public Interest Groups Kicked Out When Trying To Present Concerns About TPP

www.techdirt.com
It's really quite astounding how terribly obnoxious supporters of the ridiculous TPP agreement have become. This Trans Pacific Partnership agreement is being negotiated entirely in secret -- even as the USTR lies and claims the process is transparent at an "unprecedented" level. Of course, it seems that transparency only extends...
Once Again, Public Interest Groups Kicked Out When Trying To Present Concerns About TPP

As USTR Insists ACTA Doesn't Need Congressional Approval, Wyden Asks State Dept. For A Second Opinion

www.techdirt.com
Back in October, we noted that Senator Ron Wyden had sent the Obama administration a letter pointing out that it appeared unconstitutional for the President to sign ACTA without getting Congressional approval. The USTR had been insisting that because ACTA does not require any change to US law, it doesn't...
As USTR Insists ACTA Doesn't Need Congressional Approval, Wyden Asks State Dept. For A Second Opinion

Leaked TPP Proposal Reveals That US Wants To Give Multinational Companies Tremendous Power

www.techdirt.com
We've talked plenty about the shameful position of the USTR on transparency when it comes to negotiating agreements like ACTA and TPP. While USTR Ron Kirk keeps insisting that the feds are being more transparent with TPP than any previous trade agreement, that just shows a complete misunderstanding of what...
Leaked TPP Proposal Reveals That US Wants To Give Multinational Companies Tremendous Power

White House Petition Demands TPP Process Be Open & Transparent

www.techdirt.com
It seems that, with every issue that comes up around here, people are quickly putting together White House petitions on the White House's "We The People" site. The latest, in response to all of these stories about secrecy concerning the negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), is a petition...
White House Petition Demands TPP Process Be Open & Transparent

The Government Can Be Transparent About International Negotiations... If It's Unhappy With Them

www.techdirt.com
We've been covering two big stories lately: the ongoing negotiations over the TPP agreement (Trans Pacific Partnership) as well the upcoming fight to change key internet governance issues via the UN's ITU (International Telecommunications Union) as part of WCIT (the World Conference on International Telecommunications). Of course, there's an interesting...
The Government Can Be Transparent About International Negotiations... If It's Unhappy With Them

Rep. Lofgren Gives USTR A Simple 3-Point Plan For Real TPP Transparency

www.techdirt.com
We've discussed, repeatedly, the incredible lack of transparency from the USTR regarding the TPP negotiations. Back in June, we noted that 130 Congressional Representatives all got together to send USTR Ron Kirk a letter, noting their concerns. At the end of August, Kirk replied (pdf) with his standard talking points....
Rep. Lofgren Gives USTR A Simple 3-Point Plan For Real TPP Transparency

USTR: By Making People Testify About TPP Text They Cannot See... We're Being Transparent

www.techdirt.com
Jamie Love has provided the testimony he gave at a USTR hearing concerning Mexico and Canada's entrance into the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) agreement. As you hopefully recall, the agreement is being negotiated in secret... unless you happen to be a high level lobbyist. Then you get widespread access, which...
USTR: By Making People Testify About TPP Text They Cannot See... We're Being Transparent

BitTorrent Giant BTjunkie Shuts Down For Good

torrentfreak.com
Founded in June 2005, BTjunkie has been among the top BitTorrent sites for more than half a decade. The site was never involved in any legal action, and to keep it this way the site’s operators decided to shut the site down for good today. The following message was posted...
BitTorrent Giant BTjunkie Shuts Down For Good

TPP Text On Fair Use Leaks; US Proposals Are Really About Limiting Fair Use, Not Expanding It

www.techdirt.com
About a month ago, we were slightly encouraged by the public statement from the USTR that it was adding language to the TPP agreement that embraced "limitations and exceptions" to copyright law -- even as we believe that it's wrong to call fair use rights "limitations and exceptions" when they're...
TPP Text On Fair Use Leaks; US Proposals Are Really About Limiting Fair Use, Not Expanding It

Darrell Issa Posts Text Of 'Unconstitutional' ACTA For Open Feedback; Something USTR Never Did

www.techdirt.com
We've been really impressed (though we can see where it needs improvements in its next version) with the "Madison" platform that Rep. Darrell Issa put up to allow for open feedback and comments concerning the OPEN Act. And it appears he's not done using that platform, either. He's now posted...
Darrell Issa Posts Text Of 'Unconstitutional' ACTA For Open Feedback; Something USTR Never Did
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