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  • Jul 11th, 2012 @ 9:09pm

    TPP is much more than just a trade agreement

    According to The Nation, under TPP "Countries would be obliged to conform all their domestic laws and regulations to the TPP’s rules—in effect, a corporate coup d’état. The proposed pact would limit even how governments can spend their tax dollars."

    ( )

    According to Michael Geist, "the TPP would require countries (such as Canada, New Zealand, and Japan - all current or potential TPP members) that meet the international copyright term standard of life of the author plus 50 years to add an additional 20 years to the term of protection."

    ( )

    Also, see the PDF document comparing ACTA to TPP at

    TPP is just a massively beefed-up, more dangerous, more restrictive, more insidious version of ACTA - the benign-sounding name is just a ploy to keep prying eyes looking in other directions while corporations again attempt to bypass those annoying citizens who actually demand a say in the laws that govern them. The public outcry against ACTA derailed its adoption by some countries - the grey eminences behind TPP don't want that to happen again.
  • Aug 31st, 2011 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Weird...

    I'm not sure of this, but it seems to me that BART isn't a business, it's a government agency funded by taxpayers.

    If BART wanted to interdict cellular communications in their transit system, they shouldn't have installed the equipment in the first place. Having done so, they have created among their patrons a reasonable expectation that cellular service will always be available, except of course for occasional equipment failures.

    The fact that BART is taxpayer funded suggests that their cellular equipment constitutes municipal infrastructure, and for that reason they shouldn't be allowed to turn it off any old time they happen not to like the uses to which it's being put. Allowing them to do so would be yet another step onto the slippery slope down toward totalitarianism.
  • Aug 11th, 2011 @ 5:06am

    Way to go Mike... Apple's going after the Motorola Xoom:

    Sure ly they're doing this because you called them out for picking on the Galaxy specifically.

    How's it feel to be such a mover and shaker?
  • Aug 9th, 2011 @ 11:13am

    I could say the same thing about snail mail

    Regarding 'too many e-mails', the court says:

    "[We] conclude that a transmission that weakens a sound computer system — or, similarly, one that diminishes a plaintiff’s ability to use data or a system — causes damage."

    Regarding 'too many advertising flyers', I say:

    "[We] conclude that a transmission that weakens a sound mailbox — or, similarly, one that diminishes a plaintiff’s ability to use the mailbox or extract mail from it — causes damage."

    Is there a fundamental difference here? I don't think so. One claim is as silly as the other.
  • Jul 13th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: circles

    Yes ottermaton, I agree with what you're saying - power tends to do whatever it can to perpetuate itself and to increase its sphere of control. What we need, (and this is probably a pipe dream), is a way of regulating corporations that can't be so easily infiltrated, corrupted, or outright ignored.

    This brings me to the legal concept of a corporation as a person. If we could do away with this bit of legerdemain, and fix all the laws that accord individul rights to corporate collectives which have no real locus of accountability, we could go a long way toward bringing corporations to heel. And I believe that all of this, in turn, hinges on electoral reform - we need to return to government 'by the people, for the people', and that means major restrictions on how much money, and whose money, can be spent on election campaigns. As it is, North America is ruled by corporations, and elections are the modern-day equivalent of 'bread and circuses'.
  • Jul 13th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    Re: circles

    I agree with most of what you say, but I think you're missing an important point. We REALLY DON'T KNOW what we would have in a free market, because we haven't seen one in a very long time, if ever.

    What we have now, and have had for many decades, (if not for a century or more), is corporatism, along with its attendant lobbying and back-room deals. Corporations would like you to believe that they represent a 'free market'; this belief hides the fact that corporatists are actually collectivists, rather than the individualists that they claim to be.

    A free market may or may not solve a lot of the problems that are discussed on Techdirt - we'll never know until we try. BTW, there's no fundamental conflict between a free market and a certain level of government regulation, in spite of what the corporations would have us believe.
  • Jul 13th, 2011 @ 9:31am

    Re: The concept of telecommunications

    Ah, but the problem IS a lack of competition. If the market were truly competitive, then some new company would realize the fallacy of 'bits are valuable freight', would offer an appropriate service in response, and would force competitors to either follow suit or lose most of their market share.

    At the heart of the lack of competition, is the history of governments granting 'special monopolies'. This was probably the only viable way to create the far-reaching telecommunications infrastructure we now enjoy, but the deals should have been structured differently. For example, Bell, should have had a time limit on network ownership, after which time the ownership passed on to the government. There still would have been LOTS of money to be made both before and after the transfer of ownership, but we wouldn't now be in the position of paying through the nose for infrastructure we've already paid for. Also, government ownership of the infrastructure would ensure lots of competition - anyone with a viable business plan and a few dollars could start an ISP business, and there would be no question of UBB, throttling, or other such cash-grab anti-competitve ploys on the part of those in charge of the infrastructure.
  • Jul 6th, 2011 @ 6:09am

    Social Notworking!

    'nuff said.
  • Jul 6th, 2011 @ 6:04am

    What a surprise.

    A collection society screwing artists AND the public? Imagine that!

    At least in Spain the government appears to be fighting that kind of corruption. Here in North America the governments actively participate in the extortion racket.
  • Jul 6th, 2011 @ 5:54am

    1984, anyone?

    "The key "fear" element is to make it known to both insiders who leak and reporters who publish those stories, that they could face jail time, even as the administration claims that it's encouraging whistleblowing."

    Sounds rather like 'Ministry of Truth' stuff to me. Or maybe 'Ministry of Love'? It's so hard to tell these days - the US Government seems to have successfully implemented all four of Orwell's ministries.
  • Jun 30th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    There's no such thing as bad publicity

    "Since they're already using all the other girls, why create an additional mashup?"

    Because it's gotten them a lot of attention, and because it's memorable. And who knows - this may be the opening move in a CwF gambit! Fans could request custom mashups of their favourite band members, or mashups between fans and band members, or band members and politicians, or band members and Sony executives - the possibilities are endless!
  • Jun 30th, 2011 @ 4:31am

    Re: security lowering hijackings

    "It's only to show that increases in security do help..."

    Pointing to one instance of increased security being effective, and concluding that ALL such increases are effective - well, I could call that a specious argument, except that it's not even superficially plausible.

    Maintaining vigilance is one thing - creating a police state in the name of 'security' is another. And if you believe that examining the diaper of a 95-year-old woman is somehow an appropriate response to 'terrorist threats', then you should bend down now and kiss those terrorists' feet, 'cause they already own you.
  • Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:46am

    TSA is just SOOOO thankful for 9/11

    At this point I think it's obvious to anyone whe hasn't 'drunk the Koolaid' that TSA doesn't care about security, (other than job security), in the least. Their laughable and ineffectual security theatre, and their rampant abuse of helpless travellers, are all about power, control, and empire building, with more than a little delusional paranoia thrown in for bad measure.

    Al Qaeda are doubtless very happy with the TSA, the DHS, and the ICE. These organizations are wreaking far more damage to America than Al Qaeda could ever directly cause.
  • Jun 24th, 2011 @ 9:57am

    ...the chances of Apple winning here are remote, at best.

    "The chances of Apple WHINING here are EXCELLENT, at WORST."

    There, fixed that for ya!
  • Jun 24th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    This is just so silly

    If I had that much money, I would be way too busy enjoying myself, helping out friends and family, and building new businesses, to even think of handing scads of it over to lawyers in a dubious and unlikely attempt to get more.

    The Winklevoss brothers are in serious need of psychotherapy.
  • Apr 29th, 2011 @ 10:30am

    Re: Minority government

    I hope we have a minority government, not because I have a particular liking for them but because it looks as though Harper is going to be PM again, and a minority would be the only thing keeping his Fascist tendencies in check.

    Do you really think the NDP will be the Official Opposition? I'd love to see that, as it would give the Liberals the smack upside the head that they so desperately need. But my fear is that electors will suffer buyer's remorse when it comes time to mark their ballots, and will either vote Liberal and maintain the status quo, or vote Conservative and give Harper his majority. I don't think that the huge NDP gains shown in the opinion polls will necessarily translate into votes on election day, but I'd sure like to be wrong...
  • Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:34pm

    A solution is just around the corner

    With stories of such flagrant abuse, it won't be long before all of the major cell phone platforms have apps that allow a quick wipe of the phone's contents. So anyone concerned about unauthorized access to personal data, will be able to press a key sequence and destroy that data. Keep frequent backups in a safe place, and you're good to go.

    Of course, this will do nothing to fix the situation wherein a government charged with protecting its citizens' rights stands at the forefront of violating those rights.
  • Apr 19th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Flintstones - that's just spooky!

    When I read this story, I also was immediately reminded of that Flintstones episode - I even thought of it as 'prior art' as you did, although that concept only applies to patents AFAIK. So it was a strange experience reading your comment...

    And in the spirit of Bobby Kent, I think I thought of the Flintstones angle first, and I claim copyright on it! Expect a C+D from the law offices of Dewey, Cheatham, & Howe...
  • Apr 15th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

    I sooooo want to see this trend continue.

    This kind of 'dinosaur thinking' is going to continue as long as corporations and their lobbying organizations the world over are in charge of governments, and I say 'let it'!

    The result will almost certainly be a strong artistic counterculture in which copying and sharing are explicitly permitted and encouraged by authors and artists. Art which is predicated on entitlement, and which denies the reality of technological and cultural advances, will simply have no audience and no market.
  • Apr 8th, 2011 @ 6:45am

    Build a business model on artificial scarcity...

    ...and your business will fail, sooner or later. Adapt, or die.

    Big Pharma, meet Hollywood and the Recording Industry.

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