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Trans-Pacific Partnership Includes Unwanted Elements of SOPA

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the meet-the-new-candidate-for-boss dept.

DRM 129

New submitter Error27 writes "Last month Wikileaks leaked a draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty. Here is Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren's response to the leaked documents. She points out that there several troubling issues with the trade agreement. It locks countries into extremely long copyright terms. It limits fair use. It includes DRM provisions which would make it illegal to unlock your cell phone. These laws come from the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which Americans already rejected."

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129 comments

Well, duh (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#45623335)

This is how things work these days: if you can't get a law passed in your country, you convince other governments to make it part of a treaty, then blame them when the treaty is passed.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 8 months ago | (#45623549)

"This is how things work these days: if you can't get a law passed in your country, you convince other governments to make it part of a treaty, then blame them when the treaty is passed."

It's not quite that simple. In the U.S., it still has to be ratified by the Senate, AND even if they do, it is not law if it conflicts with the Constitution.

(IANAL, but MANY legal experts and court decisions say that a treaty does not have authority to trump the Constitution.)

Re:Well, duh (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623599)

The DNC just said that presidental appointments no longer need 60 votes, it only needs 50. There is nothing stopping them from doing the same with treaties.

We have gotten to the point where the two parties no longer prevent each other from doing stupid things, if the House is not involved the DNC can do whatever they want. Glad you all voted the way you did in order to make this possible!

Re:Well, duh (2)

Don Wills (1374605) | about 8 months ago | (#45624999)

Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution is clear that treaties require 2/3 of Senators voting in the affirmative to enact a treaty.

Re:Well, duh (4, Informative)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 8 months ago | (#45625513)

The DNC just said that presidental appointments no longer need 60 votes, it only needs 50. There is nothing stopping them from doing the same with treaties.

We have gotten to the point where the two parties no longer prevent each other from doing stupid things, if the House is not involved the DNC can do whatever they want. Glad you all voted the way you did in order to make this possible!

No, you need 51 votes to consider an appointee. That's a simple majority. You can't filibuster the nomination portion of the appointment process anymore. If the nominee gets their 51 votes, it goes into the hearings phase, then when the confirmation hearings are done, it comes up for a vote that you need the supermajority of 60 votes. What was happening was, certain people were filibustering the appointees at the nomination phase, keeping a vote from attaining the 60 needed at that time to go to confirmation hearings.

Re:Well, duh (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 8 months ago | (#45623753)

It's not quite that simple. In the U.S., it still has to be ratified by the Senate, AND even if they do, it is not law if it conflicts with the Constitution.

That's hardly the point.
The constitution mentions nothing about unlocking cell phones or copyright length.
Those are merely provisions in US LAW.
Treaties can and DO override US Law all the time.

When the President and two thirds of the Senate concur that a treaty can invalidate some sections of US Code, that code is toast, unless the treaty tried to override the amendments 1 thru 8 which specifically limit federal power.

In spite of the 10th amendment, it is clear that the founders intended the Federal Government to acquire additional powers under the Treaty power, and specifically mentioned in "The Necessary and Proper Clause" of Article 1.

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Treaties do have major implications under U.S. domestic law. In Missouri v. Holland, the Supreme Court ruled that the power to make treaties under the U.S. Constitution is a power separate from the other enumerated powers of the federal government, and hence the federal government can use treaties to legislate in areas which would otherwise fall within the exclusive authority of the states.

See more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_Clause [wikipedia.org] and here: http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2013/11/13/can-treaties-override-the-constitution [tenthamendmentcenter.com]

Re:Well, duh (1, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 8 months ago | (#45623827)

That's hardly the point. The constitution mentions nothing about unlocking cell phones or copyright length. Those are merely provisions in US LAW. Treaties can and DO override US Law all the time.

Yes, that WAS my point. One of them, anyway. In order to override ANY U.S. law, it first has to be ratified by the Senate.

In spite of the 10th amendment, it is clear that the founders intended the Federal Government to acquire additional powers under the Treaty power, and specifically mentioned in "The Necessary and Proper Clause" of Article 1.

Absolute BS. The "Necessary and Proper" clause only says that the Federal government can pass such laws as are necessary for it to implement and enforce the Constitution itself. It does NOT give the Federal government to enact laws that are not "necessary and proper" (and necessary is very much a key word) to other parts of the Constitution. That's a complete misinterpretation of what it means.

If anything is "clear" from history it is that nothing that is not within the enumerated powers is within the purview of the Federal government, except those things that are "necessary and proper" to enforce the other enumerated powers.

"Treaties do have major implications under U.S. domestic law. "

And where did you got the idea that I thought they didn't? That isn't what I wrote at all.

"In Missouri v. Holland, the Supreme Court ruled that the power to make treaties under the U.S. Constitution is a power separate from the other enumerated powers of the federal government, and hence the federal government can use treaties to legislate in areas which would otherwise fall within the exclusive authority of the states."

This still doesn't contradict anything I wrote earlier. I have to wonder who you're arguing with.

But since you brought it up, the Supreme Court ruled recently that corporations have First Amendment rights. Are you really going to quote them as some kind of Constitutional authority? Especially in recent years?

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624423)

But since you brought it up, the Supreme Court ruled recently that corporations have First Amendment rights. Are you really going to quote them as some kind of Constitutional authority? Especially in recent years?

No, the Supreme Court did NOT rule that Corporations have any First Amendment rights. They ruled that people, who DO have First Amendment rights, do not lost those rights when they act as part of a group of people called a "corporation".

Re:Well, duh (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624845)

More specifically, they basically recognized that to these groups of people we call "corporations" spending practically unlimited amounts of money to achieve some political goal is a first amendment right. Therefore, It's alright for corporations to dump obscene numbers of dollars into political action groups which then turn around and are free to bribe candidates with huge mounds of cash for their campaigns.

Re:Well, duh (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 8 months ago | (#45623909)

Look... here's my point: as your own source (Tenth Amendment Center) says, there are some suggestions in history that Congress could, in a few select ways, use their power to grab authority that the Constitution does not explicitly give. However, the one example they give of that -- a treaty with the Netherlands -- runs afoul of the First Amendment, which the same source says it may not do.

So the one example they give is actually a contradiction of what they claimed earlier... that a treaty cannot override the first 8 Amendments.

Further, it must be noted that the Constitution itself overrides the Articles of Confederation, under which that treaty was made.

The real telling thing here is that the Supreme Court itself said that the Necessary and Proper clause (again, quoting your own source) restricts Federal action to things that are both "(1) subordinate to powers listed expressly and (2) connected to them by custom or reasonable necessity."

Re:Well, duh (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 8 months ago | (#45623977)

True, but bringing it back to the topic at hand, poster 123456 above stated that if you "can't get a law passed in your country, you convince other governments to make it part of a treaty".

And s/he is perfectly correct in this assessment, and that is exactly what the Trans-Pacific Partnership proponents are trying to do, and, as I pointed out, if ratified, this treaty becomes law (because it does not directly contradict the constitution).

You replied that it was "Not quite that simple". But it is EXACTLY that simple.

1) Get defeated in congress.
2) Draft a treaty
3) Get treaty ratified ...
Profit.

When the SOPA protest caused the bills to be pulled, it was most effective in the House of representatives.
So Chris Dod and friends, are end-running the house all together. They get no say about a treaty.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625639)

Protest again. There are elections for the Senate and President last time I checked.

Re:Well, duh (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 8 months ago | (#45625059)

Most importantly, Congress can't simply repeal a provision of a treaty, which is why it's so much better for industry to get their welfare written into a treaty rather than a statute. The next election could threaten their favorite statute (in theory anyhow).

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625941)

Actually, no, they don't. The government doesn't have the authority to enter into a treaty that violates the Constitution, period.

The President doesn't have the authority to sign.
The Senate doesn't have the authority to ratify.

Both actions are unconstitutional- and any actions in that direction void our participation in said treaty.

Re:Well, duh (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 8 months ago | (#45625951)

Treaties can and DO override US Law all the time.

When the President and two thirds of the Senate concur that a treaty can invalidate some sections of US Code, that code is toast, unless the treaty tried to override the amendments 1 thru 8 which specifically limit federal power.

So treaties that override other amendments like the 19th Amendment are just fine and constitutional?

I'm sure that would go over real well. Besides, since when has Congress felt limited by any part of the constitution? They pretty much treat it as a mere guideline any more.

Re:Well, duh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623831)

The Constitution? What's that? Oh, is that what the members of the US Government wipe their asses with now?

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624605)

"This is how things work these days: if you can't get a law passed in your country, you convince other governments to make it part of a treaty, then blame them when the treaty is passed."

It's not quite that simple. In the U.S., it still has to be ratified by the Senate, AND even if they do, it is not law if it conflicts with the Constitution.

(IANAL, but MANY legal experts and court decisions say that a treaty does not have authority to trump the Constitution.)

You may stop with the history lesson now about what the Constitution does these days, because that document has been turned into nothing more than a tourist attraction. All of this means nothing today when all I have to do is point to "terrorism" and you may have all the unconstitutional laws you need to manipulate the masses into thinking it's necessary for them to give up their Rights to feel safe.

Hell, we even have Constitution-free zones, which have legally existed for over 4 decades, and basically eliminate all 4th Amendment Rights.

Please, go ahead and stop me anytime here and call me a liar.

I wish you could.

Re: Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625283)

Tell it to Obamacare. A blatantly unconstitutional law.

Re: Well, duh (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 8 months ago | (#45625527)

Tell it to Obamacare. A blatantly unconstitutional law.

Actually, you might want to read it sometime. Granted, it'll take you awhile. But the main point of Obamacare is insurance company reform. Some great stuff in there. And yes, it is constitutional in that it regulates corporations. Even the right-wing Supreme Court says it's constitutional.

Re:Well, duh (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 8 months ago | (#45623603)

That is pretty much how the EU works. Of course the bothersome part of passing a treaty has already happened; one merely has to get the eminently undemocratic EU bureaucracy to pass a bill. Here in NL several parties have pushed to get something that doesn't sit well with their own constituents passed in the EU. All so they can still claim to be against X, but "the EU is forcing us". Bonus points for those parties claiming to be critical of the EU, of course.

By the way, I am glad Lofgren is still on top of this issue, across the pond..

If you can't get a law passed in your country (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 8 months ago | (#45623609)

You keep trying again and again until the opposition blinks. .Then its too late.

Re:Well, duh (1)

FridayBob (619244) | about 8 months ago | (#45623681)

Yes, but America has far more economic influence and our representatives must also agree to those heinous provisions. The problem is that it's no longer us that they represent: it's their donors, and they're the ones who keep pushing for those provisions. However, these and other seemingly intractable problems will fix themselves as long as we first get big money out of politics. [wolf-pac.com]

Re:Well, duh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623833)

but America has far more economic influence

Had. Past tense.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623863)

You seem to false presume that only the US wants these provisions. Japanese companies and European ones want them as well.

Re:Well, duh (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 8 months ago | (#45624611)

the US used to be 'one person, one vote'.

it has been converted to 'one dollar, one vote'.

wish I was kidding...

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624739)

After looking at Romney's performance, I think the dollar should sue for being a 3/5ths of a vote.

Re:Well, duh (2)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 8 months ago | (#45625345)

If that were really the case, then Morse should have won the Colorado recall by a landslide. His side literally outspent the opposition 11 to 1.

Re:Well, Dulles... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623693)

This sort of thing isn't new at all. The Dulles brothers, who ran the CIA and Dept of State simultaneously after WWII, crafted pro-US business policies and force smaller countries to allow foreign ownership and investment at the expense of the people in those countries. They trampled the rights of foreign citizens worldwide by overthrowing governments, installing dictators and 'advising' foreign military leaders on counter-insurgency warfare, used against peasants to move them off land where valuable resources could be mined or extracted. The Dulles brothers cared only for Wall Street and the wealthy.

The neo-liberal policies of the World Bank and IMF create oppressive economic conditions that favor the wealthy and do little to benefit the bottom socio-economic strata of 'developing' nations, as well. The blowback is showing up in the Western world where the limits of growth are coming up against reality.

It will be less pretty as scarce potable water, the best agricultural land and other basic resources are depleted and the marginal cost of developing new assets increases. Climate change will also play a role as long term capital investments where the environment is no longer stable will be less productive, more expensive to maintain and will yield less than their projected returns.

Welcome to the 21st century, when the world comes to grips with the limits of irresponsible business practices and limits to growth.

Re:Well, duh (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 8 months ago | (#45623813)

Huh. Well, how do we make it stop? Clearly voting isn't working.

Re:Well, duh (2)

FridayBob (619244) | about 8 months ago | (#45624015)

Huh. Well, how do we make it stop? Clearly voting isn't working.

See WOLF-PAC [wolf-pac.com] and help get big money out of politics. After that, voting will start to make a difference again.

WOLF-PAC was launched in October 2011 for the purpose of passing a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will end corporate personhood* and publicly finance all elections**. Since Congress won't pass such an Amendment on its own, the plan is to instead have the State Legislators (who tend not to be nearly as corrupt as those who run for federal office) propose it via an Article V Convention. At least 34 States need to cooperate for this to work, but already many have reacted with enthusiasm, most notably Texas, but now also Idaho and Kentucky. If successful, we should see a much more respectable group of politicians, not to mention a far more productive Congress, emerge within one or two election cycles.

.

*) The aim is not to end legal personhood for corporations, but natural personhood. The latter became a problem following the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, which grated some of the rights of natural persons to corporations and makes it easier for them to lend financial support to political campaigns.

**) At the State level, more than half of all political campaigns are already publicly financed in some way, so there's nothing strange about doing the same for political campaigns for federal office.

Re:Well, duh (1)

miroku000 (2791465) | about 8 months ago | (#45624297)

the plan is to instead have the State Legislators (who tend not to be nearly as corrupt as those who run for federal office) propose it via an Article V Convention.

Why is it that they are less corrupt? Is it because they are more ethical or because they are not as effective for influencing policies that favor the people who want to spend money on bribes? If this was close to passing, wouldn't that shift things? I imagine that as an Evil Overlord of a large company's bribery division, I would then shift my focus to state officials in order to stop this from getting passed. A cynical person might point to places where they wanted to shift to using OpenOffice.org instead of Microsoft Office. It seems like large companies have tactical units that can be deployed to influence government on more local levels when it is in their best interests.

Re:Well, duh (1)

FridayBob (619244) | about 8 months ago | (#45624487)

Why is it that they are less corrupt? Is it because they are more ethical or because they are not as effective for influencing policies that favor the people who want to spend money on bribes?

I strongly suspect the latter.

If this was close to passing, wouldn't that shift things? I imagine that as an Evil Overlord of a large company's bribery division, I would then shift my focus to state officials in order to stop this from getting passed.

They might give it a shot and they might succeed, but I don't think so. They would have to bribe an awful lot of legislators in a relatively short span of time. From wolf-pac.com:

"Once an Article V. Convention has been called we will continue to put pressure on our Legislators to do exactly what they called the convention to do. There will be so much media attention at this point due to the historic nature of the event that no Legislator would dare propose an amendment that the vast majority of the country does not agree with. Once an Article V convention has proposed amendments, then they would have to be ratified by three-fourths of our state governments (i.e. 38 states) in order to become part of the Constitution. That is why we are confident that an amendment to deal with money in politics in the United States is the only possible amendment that could come from such a convention."

Re:Well, duh (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 8 months ago | (#45625539)

Good idea. It won't work, though. Do some research on ALEC. They're handcrafting 'model legislation' for every state legislature that will defeat any attempt to push a constitutional ammendment contrary to ALEC's sponsors.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625689)

One of the benefits of publicly financed elections is that you may get a president who is not personally wealthy...

Re:Well, duh (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#45623855)

make it part of a treaty

This is not a treaty, where ratification requires 2/3 of the senate. If accepted by the US it will be a congressional-executive agreement [wikipedia.org] , which can be passed in the same way as an ordinary law. I think the distinction is bogus, but since CEA's have been accepted and approved by the courts since the Jefferson administration, I don't think they're going away.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623981)

Sort of like Christmas Fruitcake. It get passed around to everyone even though no one wants it.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624247)

This is how things work these days: if you can't get a law passed in your country, you convince other governments to make it part of a treaty, then blame them when the treaty is passed.

Not quite, but close. If you can't get a law passed, you make it part of a SECRET back room deal/law/treaty where people are not allowed to know what is being legislated.

Re:Well, duh (1)

infinitelink (963279) | about 8 months ago | (#45624483)

And then in the US "psychos" like me (i.e. pro-constitutionalists) insist that any who insists a treaty can override the Constitution or be excuse to infringe our rights is a domestic enemy and subject either to crimes about aiding foreign powers or about conspiracy against rights--it's the only way to go, either we start threatening these people--and those who pay them to do this--with real consequences or we get to soon be little more than slaves free in name only. I know it's dangerous but it's necessary to do.

Re:Well, duh (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 8 months ago | (#45624841)

to crimes about aiding foreign powers

Irrelevant since even selling weapons to terrorists that had killed over a hundred US Marines less than a year before was not enough to make it difficult for Oliver North to get a new government job requiring a high security clearance. There are no "real consequences" down that road.

Re:Well, duh (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 8 months ago | (#45625547)

to crimes about aiding foreign powers

Irrelevant since even selling weapons to terrorists that had killed over a hundred US Marines less than a year before was not enough to make it difficult for Oliver North to get a new government job requiring a high security clearance. There are no "real consequences" down that road.

They had to do the paperwork first to clear him of his felony convictions. It's called a 'presidential pardon'. And I consider its useage in this instance to have been an impeachable offense, but nobody was paying attention til the ink was dry.

Who (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623355)

Who are the people responsible for this? Names and home addresses please.

Re:Who (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623459)

I agree completely. These people are in all practicality terrorists. Why has the NSA not released info on them yet?

Global Trade (1)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 8 months ago | (#45623421)

There are some amazing evangelists for global trade because there are some that truly believe this to be the path to world peace (If we all have things we want to trade, we should all be able to get along). Unfortunately, many simply see it as a new means for greater wealth, and it's often hard to distinguish between these different proponents. Since WWII imperialism has been passeé, so now taking foreign countries for all their worth has become a bureaucratic process.

re: Global Trade (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 8 months ago | (#45623581)

Globalists are mostly fools. Those who actually understand what they are doing may or may not be fools, but the masses who believe in the hype are most certainly fools.

Every one of these "free trade" treaties compromises one or more nation's sovereignty. We, here, in the US, can clearly see that these "intellectual property" treaties are so much hogwash, are being sucked into the treaty. After signing, our (mostly bought and paid for) politicians can then refuse to pass laws that we demand, claiming that they would violate international treaties.

It's as bad, or worse, for other nations. Some third world nation, where people might make a couple thousand dollars PER YEAR, can't afford to pay the prices for our software under any circumstances. Today, the people might pirate an operating system, but with the trade agreements, piracy could result in a lifetime imprisonment. Or death.

Almost no one benefits from these treaties, almost no one benefits from globalization, except corporations.

 

Re: Global Trade (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 8 months ago | (#45623715)

Maybe, the route to world peace IS getting rid of the concept of a nation's sovereignty? Ok, not replacing it with a corporation, but if EVERYONE's the same country, it'd make it that bit trickier to go to war with yourself.

Re: Global Trade (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623781)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civil_wars

Re: Global Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623837)

On the upside, it does make it economically undesirable if not unviable to wage war between countries once they're all on the same page. But on the downside, this means the resources freed up in that respect may now be used to wage war between classes. There ain't no justice, and nowhere to run if you're getting the shit end of the stick.

Re: Global Trade (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#45623923)

Sounds good. Let's start small though to demonstrate the practicality of it. Let's unite the US and Canada. Two countries with the longest undefended border in the world. No hostilities between them in 150 years. Very similar culture and background. Common language except for a French speaking minority that the new country could accommodate as well as Canada can. Should be easy.

Get back to me when that's done, and then we can talk about adding the rest of the world.

Re: Global Trade (2)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 8 months ago | (#45624967)

Your proposal would likely cause the destruction of the USA. About 30% of the US population speak Spanish fluently- how would they react to Canadian bilingualism? You try telling a hundred million citizens they are not important enough to get their native language, but the french are. How would Americans react to the "Northern" states getting universal health care, but they don't? Again it would be a national riot. And you think you could just roll those programs back up north? Try telling 30 million voters (who vote as a block) that they must lose their most important pork? In Canada you literally can't win an election unless you support these two programs. It would be easier to merge Mexico into the union than adding Canada. At least they would take the bribes.

Re: Global Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624291)

Why not keep differing people and opinions away from each other....

The gothic piercing community doesn't want to live with Puritan Amish types who consider their very existence "the devil".

So they live far away on segregated land from us "normal folks".

But when we do it for other reasons it's not allowed. People who dislike your very way of life will spend countless resources bringing about persecution which only forces people to live in the shades. There crime flourishes. Then we need more police, who then beg for more laws, and we eventually are slaves.

Why can't the pot smoking guys have a state 100% legal for that..... The burn-them-at-the-stake "pure" religious types can live in their own states with near-forced religion through more blue-laws and punishment for skipping sunday school (like they wished was law so they can haul away non-believers).

Eventually people will segregate and live comfortably amongst each other as they run far from the lands that have crap laws.... Then states will have to compete again for the citizens to want to live there. Things would generally be fine until some radical sect decides to try invading another because of differing beliefs. But we have police for that who are now less constrained arrestnig anyone who smokes a plant.

The problem has always been the idiot who moves into a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone and starts complaining about the regular way of life. You move from them. But you can never be sure another won't pop up next to you who bitches that you sleep in on Sunday or live with a woman out of wedlock. I used to have people ring my door bell at 9am on Sunday asking why my car didn't leave the driveway! After comfortably living in my neighborhood for many years this religious nutjob moved in and started harrassing everyone.

Leaf blowing at 7am, telling us all we were going to hell. Ends up he had friends in high places so we got harassed by the cops with cars sitting outside our house. turns out he told them we "must be up to something" which caused a search of my house and them shooting my dog. Nothing I could do about it.

Wish I could move somewhere where that style of harss- I mean living would be illegal. I'm not a hippie, I'm a $100,000/year+ earning software architect who is 30 but looks 20 and has everyone on my block treating me like a drug dealer because I buy nice cars and hangout with guys driving BMWs and Porsches. I just cannot live a normal freaking life with these NOSY people creeping into my life.

Lets start accepting segregation again.... So next time some Southern-idiot moves to Michigan and starts enforcing Bible-law which leads to my dog being shot over absolutely doing NOTHING wrong except being young looking and staying at home on Sunday in my own flipping house.

(Not trolling either, true story)

Re: Global Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624409)

Wish I could move somewhere

Life is short. You're in your 30s now but in the blink of
an eye you will be in your fifties and most of your life will
be behind you. Do you really want the years between now
and the end to be miserable when they don't have to be ?

If you choose to stay despite the fact that
you have idiot neighbors who make your life miserable,
in the end you have yourself to blame. Man up, and do
some proper research in order to find a place where you will
be comfortable living so you don't inadvertently end up in
another bad area, and MOVE.

Re: Global Trade (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 8 months ago | (#45624601)

There will never be peace as long as at least two people want to be better than everyone else. Only one person can be at the top of the list, and if you have more than one person competing for that spot you're going to have conflict.

Re: Global Trade (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 8 months ago | (#45625977)

Ok, not replacing it with a corporation, but if EVERYONE's the same country, it'd make it that bit trickier to go to war with yourself.

Yeah, that worked out real well for America [wikipedia.org] . As if you even need countries to have bloody wars of hundreds of thousands of soldiers on each side.

Re:Global Trade (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#45623897)

There are some amazing evangelists for global trade because there are some that truly believe this to be the path to world peace

That'd be funny if it weren't such a serious issue. It's exactly what people said during the first so-called great age of free trade (late 19th and early 20th centuries). People were saying that in 1913. By 1914, WWI had thoroughly disproved the theory.

Re:Global Trade (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 8 months ago | (#45625561)

There are some amazing evangelists for global trade because there are some that truly believe this to be the path to world peace

That'd be funny if it weren't such a serious issue. It's exactly what people said during the first so-called great age of free trade (late 19th and early 20th centuries). People were saying that in 1913. By 1914, WWI had thoroughly disproved the theory.

They've been telling me that trickle down economics works, too. Still haven't seen the money trickling down. Money ain't brown, anyways, not in the US...

Re:Global Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623929)

They are not globalists, they are one sided people passing laws which benefit them.

Try reimporting a book or something (ignoring region coding) and you will find out that "outsourcing" is a one way street.

US jobs go Overseas because its cheaper, but cheaper overseas products are not allowed to be imported back into the US.

Re:Global Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624283)

US jobs go Overseas because its cheaper, but cheaper overseas products are not allowed to be imported back into the US.

Been to a Walmart lately?

There's more to the story (4, Interesting)

Puls4r (724907) | about 8 months ago | (#45623427)

The TPP is horrible in a number of ways. It creates so-called free trade between the countries in a number of areas, including automobiles. Unfortunately, if you know anything about the markets you know that even while the Japanese may not place tariffs on automotive products from the US, their market is absolutely closed to US product through a number of other legal but fairly immoral actions.

To top it off, the Japanese are even WORSE at currency manipulations than Americans. As of this second, Japan enjoys an $8000 imbalance between autos made over there versus what we can make them over here, specifically because of their intervention in the currency market.

Free trade doesn't work when countries can play games, dumping products and using massive government subsidies to drive people out of the market. The Automotive industry is virtually the last bastion of American manufacturing, and supports a huge proportion of what remains of the American middle class.

This is a BAD partnership. Oppose it.

Re:There's more to the story (3, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 8 months ago | (#45623575)

"The TPP is horrible in a number of ways. It creates so-called free trade between the countries in a number of areas, including automobiles. Unfortunately, if you know anything about the markets you know that even while the Japanese may not place tariffs on automotive products from the US, their market is absolutely closed to US product through a number of other legal but fairly immoral actions."

That's the essence of the problem. These "free trade" treaties haven't really implemented "free" trade at all. It there has been anything "free" about them it is the "free" subsidies that some companies get for their products.

Further, we know by now that offshoring is damaging to the economy of the country doing it, if it is "free", i.e., no exchange rate on labor. This is one of the biggest lies that have been pulled in recent years.

Re:There's more to the story (2)

Jeeeb (1141117) | about 8 months ago | (#45623873)

Unfortunately, if you know anything about the markets you know that even while the Japanese may not place tariffs on automotive products from the US, their market is absolutely closed to US product through a number of other legal but fairly immoral actions.

Yet strangely, German cars do well in Japan, and Japan's second largest maker is owned by the French. Maybe if the American makers made better small cars and medium sedans, there would be more interest in them.

Re:There's more to the story (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 8 months ago | (#45624723)

Do we mean better, or do we mean more amenable to japanese political influence?

Re:There's more to the story (1)

Jeeeb (1141117) | about 8 months ago | (#45625013)

Do we mean better, or do we mean more amenable to japanese political influence?

I mean better. That's how the Germans have succeeded in Japan. That's how the French rebuilt Nissan. Meanwhile, the American makers for the last 30 years have been unable to even capture their homemarket and instead have been leaning on Washington to intervene.

Re:There's more to the story (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#45626313)

Clearly you havent looked at american cars since the early 90s. In the years since we got our asses handed to us in the segment we have made great strides. The fuzion and the impala are both better cars than the toyotas and hondas for the higher end cars, the focus ST will roll all over the civic and corolla. Try actually looking at and driving some of them

Re:There's more to the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625159)

The usual saying for your comment is pot kettle black something something.

An attack on sovereignty by corporations (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623431)

I live in Australia, we are at the other end of this disgusting treaty.
The treaty gives US corporations the right to sue our government for any legislation that might affect their profits. So our highly effective and world-renowned Plain Packaging laws for cigarettes will be the first to go. Then they will come after our excellent PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) which gives us extremely low-cost prescription drugs, something im sure those in the US would dream of having.
This treaty is nothing more than further evidence that our governments are acting against the greater good and in the interests of big business.
Please oppose it.

Re:An attack on sovereignty by corporations (1)

caffeine_high (974351) | about 8 months ago | (#45624083)

Phillip Morris is already pursuing Australia for damages under the ISDS system after losing in the Australian high court. Australia signed a free trade treaty with Hong Kong in the 90s and that is the basis for this action. The TPP will only make matters worse.

Re: An attack on sovereignty by corporations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625237)

Exactly!

You can read how pissed the US was and how much pressure they put on e.g. Finland when they went through with their "generic substitution" scheme (Wikileaks Cablegate). The scheme essentially says that you can always substitute to a cheaper generic medicine if possible. This makes healthcare cheaper overall for everyone.

I am not surprised that TPP wants to remove any mentions of such schemes.

Who cares if you voted against a law... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623473)

They will just push the same law over, and over again, with different words, until it passes.

Has it occured to anyone that SOPA (3, Funny)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 8 months ago | (#45623485)

Can be the abbreviation of Start Online Piracy, Act!

Re:Has it occured to anyone that SOPA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623759)

I personally prefer these possible interpretations:

Stupid Oligarchy Purpetuating Attrocities
Significant Opposition? Promote Anonymously!
Solipsism Originating from Performing Artists
Still Organized by Parasitical Accounting
Statist Orgy for Pounding Asses

So many colorful interpretations!

Doesn't affect me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623563)

As a sovereign citizen, none of this silly crap affects me.

Re:Doesn't affect me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624385)

As a sovereign citizen, none of this silly crap affects me.

The above is the reply which makes more sense than all the hand-wringing and
whining in the rest of this page.

Rules are for other people.

Negotiations? Hardly! (3, Insightful)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | about 8 months ago | (#45623585)

Given that the NSA is busy tapping the phones and email conversations of the leaders with which the USA is "negotiating" this TPPA, it's hard to believe that this isn't just a one-sided deal.

How can other nations "negotiate" when the USA knows exactly what their bottom lines are (given that they've likely exchanged such information with their fellow politicians within their own country by phone or email)?

What's more -- why does this all need to be done in secret -- hidden away from the eyes and ears of those who these politicians are elected to REPRESENT and SERVE?

This is a huge con-job on the peoples of the non-US nations involved.

I strongly suspect there will be a great deal of "post-political career" employment on offer for those foreign politicians who agree to the US-dictated terms of the TPPA.

Outrageous!

Re:Negotiations? Hardly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623935)

It's also a huge con job on US people. We have to deal with what NAFTA and the WTO have done to the US economy which has lost 50% of its manufacturing sector, grown a completely corrupt financial sector and let it run amok, which forcing youth and middle class to believe that it's all in 'our' best interest. It's not.

We need to realize that the vast majority of us will be worse off. I think technology is great, but you don't have a strong middle class with decent living conditions for everyone, then you have what we used to refer to as a 3rd world economy. That said, I realize that we and the rest of the world can't have the same level of consumption we promoted over the last 50 years of the 20th century.

If we don't realign people's expectations with the likely results of 250 years of irresponsible industrial waste and adopt healthier practices from top to bottom, we're all in for a shock over the next generation's lifespan. Allowing the TPP-like crap to rule from top, the grand tradition of robber barons memorialized will only prolong the pain. It's time to require politicians at the top to stop listening to the fat cats of Wall Street, or whatever national center promotes the concentration of financial wealth at the expense of a reasonable future. Ecology, social justice and peaceful coexistence should be global goals.

The largest multinationals are already remaking themselves by selling off their less profitable companies because their patent advantage is up. But they're focused on business as usual without coming to grips with the reality that the globe is filling up, and you can't eat your bank account. Frioj Capra's 'Turning Point' has it right. We need a paradigm shift away from the destructive practices and toward cooperation, wholistic thinking and an existence which values the mind over the body as a the essence of being.

Re:Negotiations? Hardly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624627)

Forget just tapping their phones for the negotiations, they've been tapping and building relationship graphs for well over a decade. The NSA (and affiliated organizations) know, down to pretty intimate level, exactly who knows what and where the bodies are buried. If the "partner" nation is a democracy then it's even easier to 'suggest' courses of action that are mutually beneficial to all involved.

In fact, track back through recent history to when the U.S. started forcing these sort of agreements and you'll probably have a pretty good idea when the full power of the NSA dragnet came into force; or at least when they started making it available to commercial interests.

the worst of this is it had to be leaked (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#45623793)

The worst part of this is that it had to be leaked. The whole process by which these "agreements" are negotiated shouldn't be allowed in a democratic society. You leak secrets, and there should be nothing secret about these negotiations. Please spare me any "diplomatic requirements" BS. This is not a peace treaty where secrecy of negotiations might be necessary to get the thing done, or at least get it done relatively quickly.

These negotiations should be no different than the way "negotiations" are handled in the legislature of a representative government - all completely public, and proposed bills available to anyone. You can even watch congress on TV if you can stay awake long enough. Why should this be any different?

Re:the worst of this is it had to be leaked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623973)

I'm getting inclined to think there is a need for a constitutional amendment which requires all treaties to be published in full and freely available to all US citizens a minimum of 7 days before the President signs them. There is also a need to require them not to usurp the power of the Legislature. Perhaps the text, "shall not include substantial portions of any proposed law that was defeated".

Re:the worst of this is it had to be leaked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624307)

Sure. They'll just keep the ones that are a matter of national security secret. Oh... All of them apparently are. See? Everything can be a national security thread nowadays. So you have to choose, either you get secret spying agencies or you get transparency. Can't have both.

Re:the worst of this is it had to be leaked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624091)

There could be a case made that some negotiation positions should be kept secret so you don't give your counterparts the advantage of knowing exactly how far you're prepared to bend on item A to get item B through, and so on. But these leaked documents are negotiation proceedings that all the negotiating parts already know. There is absolutely no reason to keep them secret from everyone else.

Re:the worst of this is it had to be leaked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624165)

You are correct in theory, but mistaken if you think democracy has anything to do with these negotiations. Democracy in the US republic is a pageant, just enough theater to mollify the public with the notion that they have a choice. In this society should or should not is a financial decision, not an ethical one.

Re:the worst of this is it had to be leaked (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 8 months ago | (#45624169)

but being we shot down sopa and all its clones every time it goes public they will try to do it in secret now.

Re:the worst of this is it had to be leaked (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 8 months ago | (#45624937)

The problem is very simply that Americans aren't as involved in the democratic process as they should be (or they are and that they're simply too ignorant to understand how it's supposed to work). This is certainly not true of all Americans, but it is true of the vast majority, and what more is Democracy? Nothing more than the only thing the /. moderation system can beat....

Re:the worst of this is it had to be leaked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625549)

Yes, I do agree wholeheartedly. But...

> This is not a peace treaty where secrecy of negotiations might be necessary to get the thing done ...this is exactly the point: *they* want to get things done without you or me interfering. Democracy be damned.

I think we should treat those shady figures as we treat terrorists: a threat to our society. I actually think that nowadays they are far more dangerous.

Unwanted Elements of SOPA (4, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 8 months ago | (#45623845)

Remind me, what were the wanted ones?

Re:Unwanted Elements of SOPA (1)

danlip (737336) | about 8 months ago | (#45624863)

All of them were wanted by someone, just not me or you.

Thanks USA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623885)

Heart and minds, friends.....

(kill yourselves)

Fuck you, Obama. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45623963)

Seriously. Go to hell, Mr. President. Bush sucked, but that doesn't make Obama any better. Lying weasel corporate sockpuppet.

Re:Fuck you, Obama. (1)

luther349 (645380) | about 8 months ago | (#45624177)

Lying weasel corporate sockpuppet. that would be the entire government of pretty much every country.

Life plus? (2)

boojumbadger (949542) | about 8 months ago | (#45624195)

Is it just me or does anyone else think this is a bit screwy? What happens to your copyright if you never die or due to medical breakthroughs live for 500 years?
How long before these laws get tweaked so that corporations get lumped in with humans, can they die? Are they like the Borg with smaller companies getting assimilated into the collective and thus never dying for so long as some other company is prepared to buy up the parts still valuable?

Re:Life plus? (1)

miroku000 (2791465) | about 8 months ago | (#45624371)

How does it work when a company copyrights something rather than a person? Companies are people, now, right?

Re:Life plus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45624559)

The "Lifetime of creator plus N>70 years" bullshit has the following basis:

"Hi, I'm a wealthy actor/rockstar/artist/whatever! My kids have grown up in an environment where they have all this luxurious shit, because I am a statistical anomaly that gets paid a whole lot. I am worried that my spoiled progeny won't be worth a shit at actually making and doing things^^^^ --I want them to be free to pursue life as they see fit, and want my intellectual property's legacy to provide for them so they can do that!"

Or. At least, IDIOTIC rights holders with their heads up their asses get suckered into thinking that's what "lifetime +N>70 years" means.

They don't realize that what it really means is that when they die, some corporation (likely their own goddamned publisher!) Will cabbage those rights for N>70 years after they die, and use hollywood accounting to ensure their beloved children get paid exactly dick. -- especially since the publisher holds a license to distribute at the times of their deaths, and since the copyright does not expire, they become the defacto holders of the rights for that time.

The publishers of course, do everything they can to reinforce the fiction, knowing that as big corporate a-holes, they can outlive any pathetic human, and that the value of the work is cultural in nature-- that demand will only INCREASE after the artist's death.

Pass laws saying that you can't leave intellectual property rights to heirs, and watch the support for lifetime +N years dry up from the high profile celebrity demographic.

Re: Life plus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625291)

The creators have nothing to do with it. They get maybe 0.3% in the end. Rest goes to record companies and various middlemen, most of whom are actually part of the big media companies.

So keep on creatin' those hit tunes!

Life + 70 is to ensure a near hundred year long revenue window to the artist's product.

But you know there is a way out of this. Creative Commons content, free music, etc. Support those. Drop the commercial trash. There is a whole universe of music and art out there and it is legal and does not cost a dime.

Re:Life plus? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 8 months ago | (#45625171)

In the year 2050, corporations will start to store their most valued creative employees in suspended animation to postpone their legal death.

Treaties (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 8 months ago | (#45624257)

International treaties are a convenient way for executives to push unwanted legislation through legislator's throat. European Union citizen now know that trick very well. You can even have people refusing thing by referendum, and have it adopted by an international treaty 3 years later.

Copyright in the internet era... (1)

bayankaran (446245) | about 8 months ago | (#45624495)

How will 'copyright' affect the average citizen anywhere in the world as far as video/audio/books are concerned?
If you upload something on You Tube they will pull it down if it infringes on someone's copyright. This is usually an issue with audio, with visual data its not that simple, but still possible.
Metallica proved that you cannot win the hearts and minds by taking a strong stance against popular sentiment. I don't see any artist going that path again.
The worst case scenario would be some corporation claiming copyright for singing "Happy Birthday". But that's a far fetched scenario.
Corporations will lock it down to the max they can. Let them. At some point they will start leaking their own stuff. Because for art and entertainment, you want people to watch and listen.
About cellphone unlocking and software patents...that's a different beast altogether.

Re:Copyright in the internet era... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625603)

One Word: CHINA. They can pass all the laws they want, but the genie is out the bottle.
China style-based megaupload with encrypted cloud - everyone will get anything and anything, anytime they want.

The core assumption is they can shut down torrents and the like with 100% success, and when they can't do it lawfully, they pick on New Zealand hosts. For sure, stuff on the cloud will be sharable and cheaper.

Physical items like phones, the next gen of Chinese clone style/fakes will be 'good enough', so price premiums will drop. Oddly the US has done noting about revenue base erosion, where these 'high tech' and 'yesterdays movers' pay no tax going via Ireland etc.

And if they think this is all BS, just remember the untaxed loot is all going to HK and China based banks as well.

Rat Bastards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625063)

Rat Bastards! Ok, if they slip it in, then the TPP and its SOPA extensions must all be killed. I have a vote and have already added my name to petitions to stop it. They stay up nights trying to kill freedom in the name of profit.

Fuck the FDA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625407)

When did our society get taken over by unelected bureaucrats? Why do they have the power to make up rules that aren't even laws or voted on by our "representatives". Fuck it. Lets kill them all and form a constitutional republic!

whoosh over your heads.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625529)

The point of this treaty is basically to help build a defense against china and the EU who are trying to weaken the dollar. For which I can't blame them too much considering what happened in 2008, who would want to be heavily invested in the dollar? Either way, this is just one move in economic warfare.

Avaaz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45625569)

Sign up:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/no_champagne_for_monsanto_loc/?bTmiHcb&v=32217

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