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So in short, if I understand this correctly, the US government (and any other government party to the treaty) will for example be unable to insist that Volkswagen (or any other manufacturer) open source their future emissions control software (as a condition for regulatory compliance) ?

They can still do this. However VW can later sue them for damages equal to their lost profits in a secret court.

It will certainly make it a lot easier for VW lobbyists to kill legislation intended to regulate them this way.

I don't think you've read the investment chapter [1].

It isn't a 'secret court':

* 9.23.1 Documents from the complainant are submitted and they should "make them available to the public"

* 9.23.2 "The tribunal shall conduct hearings open to the public"

Of course there is a section (9.23.4) detailing that complainants can withold any 'protected information' so perhaps in practice the process will not be as transparent as proponents would have us believe.

There is nothing about 'damages equal to their lost profits':

* Awards (9.28.4) "the only damages that may be awarded are those that the claimant has proven were sustained in the attempt to make the investment, provided that the claimant also proves that the breach was the proximate cause of those damages. If the tribunal determines such claims to be frivolous, the tribunal may award to the respondent reasonable costs and attorney's fees"

I think there is much that's disagreeable about the TPP but detractors relying on falsehoods opens TPP opposition up to easy attacks relying on the fallacist's fallacy.

[1] http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacif...

Assuming it falls into the category of mass-market software/product, it would indeed be forbidden as a precondition to sell VW cars.

But if, for instance, VW cars were measured to have too high emissions, I see nothing in this article that would prevent justice from demanding access to the source code to audit it.

Alas I would absolutely prefer states to mandate this sort of source code to be open-sourced, but I think that makes me stand firmly in the minority.

The problem is the indirect costs of a product which are offset from the corporation or the consumer (e.g. onto the environment) - people buying and Volkswagon selling cars that do not meet emission standards isn't an isolated issue.

It's not so much a question of regulation as establishing a truer cost for what is produced/consumed. If the above is correct the TPP will basically mandate obscurity on (again this particular issue as an example) that indirectly impacts everyone who must continue to exist on this planet.

If you cannot analyse the binaries, or, conversely, if the authors cannot obfuscate the source code to the point of being unintelligible, neither of you are worthy as engineers.

Without a court order, at least.

Wasn't there some notion of an international TPP court that could dispute nations' decisions?

Volkswagon could sue for their expected future profits. A private arbitration court where the judges are corporate lawyers will decide if the court of a sovereign nation is somehow inhibiting VW's future possible profit. The health and safety of the citizens will not be considered.

The TPP is a government signing away its sovereignty and duty to protect its citizens, for both will take second place to expected future profits.

So it makes all governments that sign it banana republics of the corporations? If I get to work for Tyrell Corp, I am in!

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