Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Go to Prison for File Sharing? That's What Hollywood Wants in the TPP Deal (eff.org)
287 points by walterbell on Feb 20, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 87 comments



What I do not like about these deals which always have funny acronyms TPP, ACTA, SOPA is that they are done in secrecy. If the one who are drafting these agreements are acting in the publics best interest, why are the deals and drafts drawn up in secret? If you have nothing to hide and have good honest intentions why hide your drafts?

That makes me come to the conclusion that the deals they are drafting are not in the publics best interest and thus they want to hide their bad intentions!

Guess what, we live in the information age and the public will know anyway.


> the public will know anyway.

Yes, but that does not mean the public can actually do something about it (not saying we should not try, though). Political lobbies can be more powerful than citizens, it would not be the first time it happens.


> that does not mean the public can actually do something about it

If public businesses and consumers believe they can or cannot do something about it, they are correct (remember SOPA/PIPA? http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/media/2012/01/5094412/...). Choosing which something is the important part. Learning about the proposals is a start.

Why did most countries drop their opposition to criminalization proposals? Possibly because implementation will be delayed until the government who sign the agreement have left office, http://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2014/10/17/latest...

"... while the last leaked draft of the TPP, dated November 2013, showed strong international opposition to this criminalization plan, Canada now seems to be the only serious hold-out. This may, suggests James Love of Knowledge Ecology International, be because this new draft gives some countries extra time to implement the agreement – meaning that current governments won’t necessarily have to carry the can for their decisions."

Public opinion matters, otherwise why delay implementing the proposed rules?


This trick is rapidly getting on to my list of Tricks I'd Ban In My Alternate-Universe Constitution: No passing laws that take effect so far into the future that you won't be around to take the heat when it gets implemented. Hammering that down into something solid would take some work... I deleted what was turning into a multi-paragraph exploration of that. But it breaks the electoral feedback loop that is so critical to Democracy for laws to come into effect that just sort of happen with nobody to point at... it's not the current guy's fault, it's not those old guy's responsibility, it's not just "the Bureaucracy", shrug guess you're just stuck with it, citizens...!


Given the failure to pass measures SOPA and PIPA, et al; expect new tactics from the proponents. They will keep trying new and old tactics until fatigue sets in on the other side, or they get a lucky break.


Hopefully opponents are prepared for any lucky-break attempts to rush TPP/TTIP/CETA through while press and populace are distracted by some future unpredictable crisis.


> Possibly because implementation will be delayed until the government who sign the agreement have left office,

I don't get it, why would the next government be any more eager to implement the proposals? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these sorts of agreements broken all the time because signors couldn't get the necessary laws passed?


> I don't get it, why would the next government be any more eager to implement the proposals?

Compared to "all at once", the blame is now spread around and some of it can be blamed on those who are absent. Meanwhile, the companies continue to invest lobbying/funding/legalized-bribes to push it forward.


In addition, if enforcement of an unpopular law/policy begins while the old regime is in office, the unpopular law/policy would become a campaign issue for the next election (see Greece).

With delayed enforcement, proponents of soon-to-be-unpopular laws can help to elect a new government that supports their interests, before the populace becomes broadly aware of the pending problems.

This creates a window of lobbying opportunity that spans two governments, without pesky election campaign promises about the ticking legal time bombs.


Political lobbies can be more powerful than citizens

Political lobbies and Super PACS are made up of citizens, as are corporations and trade associations.

For legal reasons, some of these are entities regarded as people, but there is absolutely no reason for the public to buy into that narrative. Society shows too much deference to the legal fiction that these corporations are living entities.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if the people behind these moves were exposed. I'm not advocating harassment, but having the specific names of the corporate officers disclosed as part of campaigns may help them to understand that their actions can't be shielded behind a corporate identity, and may level the playing-field between "faceless corporations" and the common man.


I for one, am waiting for the Music And Film Industry Act to appear.

Maybe that would finally have the same kickback as the Verizon vs Net Neutrality fight.


The point is that it's already drafted and enacted by the time its made public and there is not much that can be done after being signed.

It doesn't matter that the public knows at that point. It will have been enacted and no heads will roll.


Well, this is just how much they care about democracy. They are anti-freedom and anti-democratic, that's the only conclusion I can think of when seeing their secret agenda.


This is a complex topic with many nuances, all of which need public input. Glynn Moody at Computerworld UK has been providing detailed coverage on TTIP issues at http://www.computerworlduk.com/blogs/open-enterprise/ttip-up..., which has similar provisions to TPP.

The US has a legislative process that reduces the chance of bundling of non-contested and practical trade agreements with debatable propositions. Fast Track would bypass debate on topics that need both public and legislator input. In the US, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon needs to be lobbied by constituents, to block Fast Track, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/19/ron-wyden-fast-trac...

"Seventy-three percent of respondents indicated that they oppose "Congress giving the president fast-track authority for the NAFTA-style trade agreements like the TPP." If fast-track authority is in place, lawmakers can vote only "yes" or "no" on final trade packages."

A Japanese lawyer comments on TPP implications for fanzines, which showcase new manga artists and are tolerated by publishers, even though they are technically infringing on copyrights, http://japanitlaw.blogspot.com/2013/01/tpps-effect-on-fanzin...

" in practice, it is rare for the police to commence an investigation without a complaint by the rights holder.

However, this situation may change. The draft of the request of the US on Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) 15.5(g) stipulates, "its authorities may initiate legal action ex officio with respect to the offenses described in this Chapter, without the need for a formal complaint by a private party or rights holder."

Could someone be charged with copyright violation even if the OWNER of the copyright does not want to press charges? That would defeat the purpose of copyright (promote creative works) and property rights (respect decisions by copyright owners). It also risks selective abuse by law enforcement, who would no longer need anyone to press charges, before seizing computers, etc.


Fast track specifies what must and what must not be in a treaty. If a treaty meets those conditions, then it goes for a yes or no vote with no amendments -- that's it. It allows for negotiations by making very clear what is acceptable.

Stopping the fast tracking of this bill would be useful or even better, getting the contentious points be blocked during the fast track process so that any treaty negotiated would not have these items.


If it needs public input while is held in the secret?


We need people to call and write their representatives. Europe has moved towards greater transparency and received 150,000 public comments, http://www.computerworlduk.com/blogs/open-enterprise/ttip-up...

"The Commissioner outlined two main proposals for boosting transparency. First, to extend access to TTIP texts to all Members of the European Parliament, beyond the currently limited group of Members of the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee. Second, to publish texts setting out the EU's specific negotiating proposals on TTIP."

http://www.computerworlduk.com/blogs/open-enterprise/ttip-up...

".. the unexpected decision to hold a consultation on the area last year. The hope seems to have been that this would keep critics quiet, and allow the European Commission to come up with a few minor tweaks to its proposals while claiming that the public had been allowed to air their views.

It didn't quite work out like that. An unprecedented 150,000 replies were received - and this was on a hitherto obscure aspect of a traditionally boring trade agreement. That number alone bespeaks a new relationship between the public and the politicians who are supposed to serve them. "


I'm not sure the European powers that be are as transparent about TTIP in practice as the spin might suggest, though:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/transatlantic-trade-and-i...

"In a meeting in London today (16 February 2015) Vince Cable and UK Trade Minister Lord Livingston will ask Commissioner Malmström to give senior UK parliamentarians access to TTIP treaty text as it is developed, so that they can monitor progress and ask questions on the public’s behalf."

That is, in the UK even senior members of our own national government don't know what we're supposedly signing up for with TTIP.

Given that:

- we have an election coming up in less than three months

- the outcome of that election is probably the most unpredictable in living memory

- TTIP is already perceived by a significant proportion of the general public to be a threat to "national treasures" like the NHS

- depending on the outcome of the election it is quite possible we will have a referendum on leaving the EU entirely within the lifetime of the next government

these kinds of shenanigans seem likely to push the UK public even further towards leaving the EU.


Its seems to be worse than this. According to a radio interview I heard a few weeks ago only MEP's can look at the TTIP text and then only in a special secure room. They are not allowed to make any notes or take any copies and are not permitted to discuss it.

TTIP seems to me the antithesis of any semblance of a democratic process we should support. I don't know how they get away with it.


For some mysterious reason, Americans always talk about TPP and never about TAFTA. But both are parts of the global US strategy, and both are secret agreements chock full with odious provision against the people. It's US imperialism at its worst, and both treaties are Trojan horses direct from the big lobbyists to get at last out of reach of the rule of law. If both these treaties come into existence, democracy will be dead for good.


It seems that TAFTA and TTIP are the same thing, no? https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/07/tafta-us-eus-trojan-tr...


It's ridiculous how much money tech has yet media can push us around. I know media has been in bed with the govt for a longer time, but in DC, money talks and bullshit walks. why can't we bribe errr lobby the hell out of DC on behalf of what's best for society and tech.


Media doesn't just have money for buying ads. It has its own TV programs with talking heads that tell everybody what to think.


If the taxpayer wasn't so easily distracted they should be voting for Lobby Neutrality where the communication ways with politicians would be guaranteed to be equal to everyone, be they a citizen or a corporation or Israel.


> where the communication ways with politicians would be guaranteed to be equal to everyone, be they a citizen or a corporation or Israel.

So... everyone in America is entitled to about 52 milliseconds a year with each politician? That's how you'd have to split it up to be "equal" (assuming we force politicians to spend an unrealistic 12 hours a day satisfying the requirement to provide "equal" lobbying opportunities).


Thats actually not so stupid: you could donate your miliseconds to whatever cause or group you believe in and they would then get a pooled time to speak with the politician. Can't get ten thousand people in the US to care about your cause? Then the cause likely suck.

There are certainly other, better options, but it is not clear that it is as bad as you suggested.


How about everyone in America goes to some lobby.gov website, and either put in a new topic, or vote an existing topic up, for X amount of topics to be discussed the coming weekend.

There are many ways to solve this, and even if each person had 52ms that would be better than the current system.


The average user can avoid prosecution by setting their torrent client's upload speed to 0. No upload == no share, and besides, the folks 'capturing' IP addresses need to get a "clandestine" packet from you before they can put you on the naughty list (since they can't send _you_ a clandestine packet, for obvious reasons.)

Don't need a VPN, just don't upload.


If everyone did this, it would render torrents useless.


There is room for users in a hostile jurisdiction to avoid uploading, while users in a permissive jurisdiction provide the uploading to keep the torrents functional.


Last thing we need are more leeches. Just get a VPN and upload a bit, a sort of 'pay it forward'.


Private internet access (just one vpn) charges essentially pennies a day to hide your content completely so it wouldn't matter much --- the cost would be so small as to be ignorable.


The Media lobbying efforts, specifically with respect to Copyright and punishment, make the Patent Wars look like a knock-off. According to the MPAA/RIAA, their industries are essentially responsible for the health of the US economy...if you read some of their PR, that's what you'll find. Deeper evaluation of the numbers shows they're outright lying about their importance. Like with many large entities, the money floats to the top (e.g. "investors") and wages, labor conditions, and investment in communities is outright terrible. It has been this way for a long time, and the money pays to influence DC and the world to try and keep the status quo.

If you want a couple good explanations for how the Media industry keeps rigging the game, just take a look at two of the major power players / persons of influence. One is Chris Dodd (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Dodd). The other is Maria Pallante (http://copyright.gov/about/office-register/). Through their words, actions, and espoused philosophies, neither of them genuinely serve the public interest, or by proxy, the US economy. It's not about individuals, per se, but about power being funneled through individuals that needs to be strongly monitored.


Here's the deal with the TPP. It is a critical component of the financial and strategic future of the United States.

Put plainly, Asia and the Pacific Region is forecasted by both OECD and the International Monetary Fund to be the primary area of financial growth for the next several decades (while down in the latest report the long term prospects are encouraging). China continues to grow despite recent staggarings; Taiwan is projected to continue acceleration of growth; South Korea with support from China and the United States are planning for reunification with North Korea (and the subsequent acquisition of resource rich lands). The region's development index is cresting a knee on the curve - pairing nicely with its large population, strong trading routes, and stability (compared with the European pressure cooker).

China, the new kid on the block, now the largest creditor nation and second largest economy is leading a trade deal in the Pacific (and a few other invited nations) called AFTA - a trade deal the United States has not been invited to, despite her vocal interest.

The US has done what it can to dissuade allies from joining in on AFTA, and has offered these allies instead membership to an alternative trade deal - one that curiously lacks China, despite its vocal interest...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership represents a keystone in America's 'pivot' to Asia (/'rebalancing'); a bid to win key influence on the rules for international trade policy in the region that will benefit the US - and will exclude China unless it agrees to the some longstanding US wishlists (especially with regard to intellectual property).

It is an unfortunate fact then that what is know from leaked drafts of the trade that it comes with certain trojan horses - administrative and corporate wishlists that could not pass the muster of even a generally distracted domestic voting population, such as requirements mentioned in the article for internet service providers to filter and monitor customer traffic.

It's a sort of damned if you do damned if you don't scenario. The TPP is important for navigating future global financial and international policy options, but bundled with it are laws that would otherwise be rejected at the ballot box.

To summarize it's important to understand the issue broadly: it is dangerous to be a single issue voter. It would be a shame to trade major strategic opportunities for the ability to share ripped DVDs. It would also be a shame to take another step back on internet freedom for international trade whose benefits in the short term are bound to be largely captured by large and multinational corporations. Thus enters the important of a representative government - only a representative government has the perspective to both barter at the macro scale for the benefit of whole of the nation as a singular identity at the same time brokering for the interests and the preferences of the daily concerns and liberties of the regular citizen.


So how much do they pay you to post that "press release"-style post that doesn't actually explain how the TPP would help? You've posted a lot of fear-mongering, but haven't actually shown what would be changed by the treaty.

As we already have very little in the way of tarriffs or other barriers to international trade, there isn't a lot that could be done to "improve trade" between US and asia. So why the treaty? The TPP is nothing more than an attempt to legalize the movement of capital.

I suggest reading this fun comic that explains the economic history and theories, and what is actually being done to try and consolidate even more wealth.

http://economixcomix.com/home/tpp/

In the long run, once both goods and capital can be moved freely outside the reach of government regulation - and taxation - we find the true purpose of the TPP in these two terrifying words: Corporate Sovereignty.

John Oliver just a good example of the narcissism and greed that we can expect to get a lot worse if the TPP were to pass:

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150216/17390930032/john-...


I do not get paid to post to Hacker News. That would be a fun job... but alas I am not that lucky.

Why do you think my post was fearmongering, specifically?

As per the implication that corporations stand a lot to gain from the TPP - you'll see in my post I've said precisely the same thing. I would agree that there is a trend in the direction of corporate sovereignty - another large trend in this direction is what Bruce Schneier calls "Public-Private Partnership" where he suggests (rightly so IMHO) that as each is subject to different laws partnerships allow them to be bound by neither (he's gone so far as to call this partnership a "Modern Leviathan": http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/06/corpora...).

You can be sure that the TPP is in the interest of the US's strategic financial and diplomatic future. That's not a lie - nor is it fearmongering.

Regarding what can be improved regarding trade - most of it has to do with fixing international standards and laws - though there are other details being ironed out (is it Korea or Taiwan that is building a giant shipping port as part of the agreement?). That's actually why it's important for the US to have influence there. The US wants to have as much influence setting the standards and regulations regarding trade and goods as possible. An important secondary effect is that both the process of negotiation and resulting trade partners garners political clout for future joint (bi- and uni-lateral) ventures.


> Why do you think my post was fearmongering, specifically?

You're entire original post - and part of this one - is trying to stir up fears about the future financial stability of the US. This is fear mongering because you haven't actually shown how the TPP fixes this other than to say it is necessary in some vague and highly theoretical ways.

> You can be sure that the TPP is in the interest of the US's strategic financial and diplomatic future

No, the TPP is in the strategic financial - and diplomatic - future of corporations, while removing much of the features of government that might stop those corporations. Allowing foreign corporations the power to wield a criminal codes or civil liabilities - that they largely get to make up - over people in the US can only be "in the interest of the US" in the "we had to burn the village down to save it" sense.

I would consider this kind of end-run around the amendment process to pass things that would obviously not pass a legitimate legislative process to be the very definition of trying to undermine the authority of the constitution, aka "sedition".

Any legitimate concerns about specific details of trade or the US's relationship with the growing economies in asia can be brought up as normal legislation, where they can each be argued about on their own.

> nor is it fearmongering.

lol


I can garuntee you that my post is not trying to stir up fears. (I know this because I wrote it...)

That said if the idea that the gloomier prospects of US finances and it needing to jockey for position in the Asian Pacific region is new and scary I would suggest two things: first that the original post included some perspective regarding the importance of the region in upcoming decades and second that it is mere truth that the dollar, US bonds and Western financial institutions have not been seeing strong trends. The US and China are in the same relationship the UK and US were when the Stirling Pound was traded for the US Dollar as the international fiat currency; with the UK as the largest debtor nation and the US as the largest creditor. This is true today but it is the US who is the largest debtor and it is China who has been establishing international banks and building an empire of credit. I do not claim that the sky is falling, nor that this is somehow a secret disclosure - it is in fact commonly traded knowledge. My bet is that if you do independent research regarding the strength of the US as an economic power you will see that she is facing challenges. Not sky is falling challenges. But challenges that require action to address them. One of those things is the TPP. Or rather, one option is the TPP. The US government chose the Asia-Pacific option a decade ago and the TPP today is one tactic in that continuing strategy.

The TPP is not the fix. Complex problems do not have simple singular fixes. It is, however, a keystone effort to establish a primary trade treaty in the region at a time it may be otherwise denied from.

Nor does the post champion the TPP. I hoped to show how it is both important and potentially damaging, specifically in regard to domestic law.

> No, the TPP is in the strategic financial - and diplomatic - future of corporations

I'm exactly the sort of person who would agree that there are dangerous trends toward corporate world governance. Nestle owns nearly half the world's potable water and 51 of the world's one hundred largest economic forces are international corporations (and as opposed to a democracy of any sort corporations are primarily autocratic and required by law to maximize the wealth of their leadership at the possible expense to others).

However, I think we depart. Where you see a cabal of corporations running the show, bending the US government to its will, I see something very different. I see a US government, earnest to do right by its people (albeit partially blind to some of it's peoples ideals and struggles), positioned in stride with corporations. That is: from the perspective of both the US government and from US corporations the TPP is a strategic win.

That the TPP may go further to enshine corporations as global players and a powerful political class is not mutually exclusive with the TPP being an important diplomatic and financial opportunity for the US as a republic. Rather, it is precisely what I say in my parent comment - that it's a damned if you do damned if you don't situation. The TPP is sincerely important for the US as a nation. It also further benefits large and international corporations. This is to say - yes I agree with you that corporate governance is an emerging threat. But it isn't the only emerging threat. The US's future is too. It's important that we recognize the issue in full scope rather than make it about any singular favorite issue.

> I would consider this kind of end-run around the amendment process to pass things that would obviously not pass a legitimate legislative process to be the very definition of trying to undermine the authority of the constitution, aka "sedition".

The constitution directly allows the US to make treaties with other nations and for those treaties to be the law of the land. This is also not the first time, nor and exceptional time, that this has been done.

So I think I misunderstood you here. You're clearly not saying this is unconstitutional. I think you're saying that the TPP is an agreement that will hurt the US more than help it - and that US leadership knows this - and thus it is 'sedition'? Again we depart. The TPP is important for the US and US leadership recognizes this. An unfortunate truth is that the TPP will not correct, and will probably exacerbate, the power and wealth concentrated within large corporations. We should definitely be having conversations about the role of corporations and their domestic and international political power. But we don't need to unilaterally reject the TPP - in fact if we were to we would still have a problem with corporate power. It's absolutely important we deal with consolidated capital and influence inside of these institutions - but it should not blind us from everything else going on. I would suggest, with my tongue partially pressed to my cheek, that making the TPP out to be entirely about corporate world order sounds a whole lot like... fearmongering?

> Any legitimate concerns about specific details of trade or the US's relationship with the growing economies in asia can be brought up as normal legislation, where they can each be argued about on their own.

Negotiating trade deals with so many divergent interests is not something that is done well by normal legislative bodies - nor do I think you want to suggest our deadlocked legislation would be an improvement. But with regard to the general sentiment that you wish there were more transparency: I agree.


You are using the tactic of trying to seem just like us and agreeing with us that it's bad: "... it comes with certain trojan horses ... such as requirements mentioned in the article for internet service providers to filter and monitor customer traffic."

Then, with us convinced that you're firmly on our side, you make the bold statement: "The TPP is important for navigating future global financial and international policy options, but bundled with it are laws that would otherwise be rejected at the ballot box."

And you say it again: "You can be sure that the TPP is in the interest of the US's strategic financial and diplomatic future. That's not a lie - nor is it fearmongering."

I'm sure it is in the interests of the ultra-wealthy and elite in the US. What's in it for everyone else, though?

This is your fearmongering: "it is dangerous to be a single issue voter."

Nowhere in your previous post or this one do you come up with ONE justification for that, or for your statement that the TPP is important and necessary. Nowhere.


There is no tactic. That's actually the entire point of the post: that there are both upsides and downsides to the TPP.

Do you deny me a nuanced impression of the TPP? Do I have to come down firmly on one side, cherishing everything about it or rejecting it in it's entirety?

The entire point of the post is to describe what I understand to be important and good about the TPP and also what I consider to be harmful or dangerous. I don't think it's misleading not to have a black or white view - in fact I think it is misleading to be so binary.

I believe that the TPP is important for the future economic viability of the United States. I included some reasons why in that post, and also in other branches of the discussion. I would also be willing to discuss further here.

> This is your fearmongering: "it is dangerous to be a single issue voter."

I honestly think that is just common wisdom - being politically engaged means trying to engage with the full complexity of the issues of the times.

> Nowhere in your previous post or this one do you come up with ONE justification for that, or for your statement that the TPP is important and necessary. Nowhere.

Certainly I do not provide evidence in the prior post that single issue voting is harmful. I wasn't aware that was widely contested and in need of justification.

Regarding the importance of the TPP - I do argue in the parent comment and in the branches of ensuing conversation (I hope successfully) that trade deals in the Asia-Pacific are important. I'm not exactly alone: here's a podcast from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (US Gov thinktank) that discusses current TPP prospects: http://csis.org/multimedia/cogitasia-podcast-tpp-prospects-p...


> There is no tactic

Actually, I've reconsidered. You admit to the realpolitik of the TPP and you admit to how it is try to sabotage China's self-governance (re. intellectual property, which they are MUCH better off without). But you aren't doing so with the point of view of admitting the bad parts of the TPP. You actually think these are good things.

In fact, your entire post is downplaying the negative impacts of the TPP and trying to end on an up note "it's good! It's necessary! "Navigating future global financial and international policy options"! "Major strategic opportunities"! You never list even one! Not even in this response. "I believe that the TPP is important for the future economic viability of the United States." Not a single justification for that. You just keep repeating it, instead. That's the Big Lie method. Keep repeating it until people start to believe it.

> I believe that the TPP is important for the future economic viability of the United States. I included some reasons why in that post, and also in other branches of the discussion. I would also be willing to discuss further here.

You included NO reasons in that post, and no reasons in this one, either. Eventually, in another post, you state that you think it will help "the dollar, US bonds and Western financial institutions". Western financial institutions! Those are the people we want to help now? The people who caused the global economic crisis and got away with it richer than ever?

All of your posts in this thread fit a pattern. You respond to some criticism about the TPP, and you say "I agree!" Then you ignore it and say that the TPP is good. Every post. Repeating it. Repetition. The Big Lie.

If you agree with all of these criticisms, how can you then state that you think it's a net positive? Wait, you say right here: "It is, however, a keystone effort to establish a primary trade treaty in the region at a time it may be otherwise denied from." It almost seems like you think that ANY treaty in Asia would be a good thing. Any US influence at all. And you agree with all the criticisms, and they just don't matter to you. Give up democracy and give up sovereignty, and give corporations their power over national governments. Who cares? We get a treaty out of it. And just getting that makes losing everything else worth it.

> Certainly I do not provide evidence in the prior post that single issue voting is harmful.

Being a single issue voter, while not without drawbacks, means that you can focus your vote on that single issue. And this issue is more important than anything else right now. So single issue voting on this one issue, if the voting is against it, is actually a very good thing.

You won't agree with any of that, though, and I don't care. This is for the rest of the readers.


> You won't agree with any of that, though, and I don't care. This is for the rest of the readers.

I agree with this. ;)

I do hope that other readers get a chance to read in depth about this topic, not just on Hacker News but also journalistic outlets and primary sources.

> You admit to the realpolitik of the TPP and you admit to how it is try to sabotage China's self-governance

international governance.

I'm going to kind to you and ignore the implication that I am part of some conspiracy and I'm going to ignore your attempt to argue for single issue voting, and that 'this issue' is somehow more important than say, current challenges to nuclear nonproliferation. After this your post posits or implies two things:

a.) The United States is being unusually or unsystematically aggressive in its pursuits of trade deal provisions.

b.) That I have not provided any reasons or evidence that the TPP is an important strategic piece for the United States.

Together the implication of (a) and (b) is that the TPP is nothing more than a sabotage plan. But this wholey dismisses the context - the context I've worked (and you've ignored) to include within the top parent and some children.

So let's tackle these points head on, yes?

a.) The ideal situation, writ large to global politics, would be for China and the US to broker an inclusive trade deal - in fact a global one - that reaches a consensus not just among the world powers, but also any nation or person that would like to participate. Such an idyllic trade deal would benefit everyone, make everyone better off, and would be garnished by the approval of everyone. Such a trade deal, while a good ideal goalpost, is not realistic - try getting two people to agree on something, much less 8 billion. The unavoidable truth is that instead of people, representatives meet, and instead of all countries, only some meet.

The United States and China, the two largest economies and leading world powers, have not been able to find a mutual trade agreement. Both, instead (and here China first), have opted to create competing trade blocs. If the American bloc does better and wins out, China will be forced to join it and adopt its rules. If the Chinese bloc wins out, it is America that will be forced to join the other and play by its rules. In either scenario, the laws of the trade bloc - by your implication - sabotage the self-governance of the other. That is, because the US and China can not agree to mutually run a trade bloc, it would be China sabotaging US self-governance. The President of the United States said as much during his state of the union address.

Basically - I agree with you that it's unfortunate to be in a position of competition rather than collaboration - where one bloc or the other will win and write the rules for the other. What I am saying is that it isn't singular and unique aggression on the part of US policy - both great powers have been forced to compete in this way because they have not been able to cooperate. The solution here, of course, would be to scratch both the TPP and TTIP and create a joint treaty. Since that's not going to happen, it's difficult to advise the US to just lay down and accept the terms in TTIP.

b.) No, included quite a bit on this front, although perhaps I haven't been clear?

Reasons for a US pivot to Asia:

- Europe is in a vice grip. Financially backed primarily through traded credit/debit, the European financial system has a credit to currency ratio of approximately 70:1. Much of the global crisis was inevitable and continues to be so. Southern Europe is facing fifty percent unemployment of youth. Austerity is a divisive policy tensioning historical cultural disagreements. The Middle East on Europe's borders had grown unhappy with the hegemonic order imposed on it first by the Ottomans and then by the European politics of the great wars and then by the neocolonial order imposed on it during the 20th century. Europe's bit to continue its credit backed financial system by expanding its sphere of influence into the Baltics has stirred the rumblings of a consistently xenophobic nuclear nation state - an effort led, of all nations, by Germany.

That is to say that America's historical partner region is flummoxed in a web of conflict and represents a short-term stalled and long-term uncertain future.

- The United States itself, having found a niche this century in providing security for global oil markets (why Japan, Saudi Arabia and Europe are all close allies), would like to move away from this business in the future as green (and nuclear) technologies and 21st century politics make oil security a less certain long term prospects. Similar agreements to fix an order in Europe with US military backed NATO are seeing both political and technological changes as US air superiority is being challenged by both the development of hypersonic missile delivery systems, new software backed radar grids, a cybermilitary space that has enabled a new form of asymmetsic warfare, and the general maturing of other country military capabilities in comparison with the US. Ballistic missile shields then being deployed by the US, it's only defense against hypersonic rockets, also neutralize country's own nuclear deterrents - namely the technology available to the United States do not represent a viable politically tenable solution.

- The financial trappings of the European system have see the US enter into a period where is has taken on the burden of collecting and issuing debt with trading partners. The collection of too much of this debt - and the issuing of too much of it - is a serious prospect that both complicates international relations and afixes leverage between the partnered nations.

- Capitalism's adoption of a purely inflationary currency in the 70s has opened the door to both international currency manipulation and to a new necessitated finance sector. With the new inflationary currency, growth has to always exceed inflation, or liquid wealth is lost. To keep this system out of recession financial instruments (and those who control them) must keep the savings rate strictly above this inflationary rate. The growth that can be used to back savings is in limited supply (why there was such a run on mortgage backed securities) and usually provided by bonds to the Western governments we've already discussed as being in straits.

- The Asia-Pacific region, as covered by the top parent comment, is universally recognized as being the region of the world with growth in the coming decades. Going further it is surmised by the State Department that this region will decide world affairs in the coming decades. Indeed, Sino-Russian relations (as they were during the Cold War) are intimately important to world affair. As Europe and Russia enter an era of noncooperation, China and the Asian region is Russia's go to trading partner and network. In fact these past two years have seen Russia deliberately move to China, who now represents the majority of its economic trade. Many of the nations in the Asia Pacific region are quickly becoming world powers in their own right.

- Relatively stable and seeing an interest in trade from the rest of the world, the region is recognized by the United States as the stage that determines the order of the world during the first half of the 21st century. The US wants to participate in the growth, the trade and the decisive world politics of the region; and Asia furthermore represents a stable, peaceful option for its continued prosperity - a hedge against the pressure cooker represented by Europe.

This is not something I've made up, or something from a PR spreadsheet. It is 21st Century US foreign policy. The US has committed itself to a "pivot to asia". The TPP is like moving a pawn into the center of the world chess board. It is not an aggressive move - at least not an overly aggressive one - but it represents a stake. The US recognizes that the prospects of Europe are violent and unstable ones. It wants stable and peaceful options.

Are you broadly against the US wanting to participate in the Pacific, or are you just against the TPP?

> It almost seems like you think that ANY treaty in Asia would be a good thing. Any US influence at all.

I think that's a silly suggestion. Regarding the TPP versus 'any old treaty' - mostly it because of timing and the partner regions. See above context under (a) for more information.

> And you agree with all the criticisms, and they just don't matter to you.

No, they matter to me a lot. If you go through my account history (I post on xnull#guest where # is in {1,2,3,4,5,6} and also xnull) you will see that we agree on a great many things and you will see that I am very critical of certain portions of the leaked documents.

Unfortunately it is difficult this day and age of panic politics to have more informed conversation ranging broad and narrow vantagepoints. Either way, I hope I at can at least get some readers to do independent research regarding the options in front of the United States and global trends.


It's in the US interest, but it can't be in the non-US interest then.

There's always another party to contracts like that. And one side is always getting screwed when the US is involved.


I'm not sure I exactly follow. Sometimes agreements and relationships are "zero-sum" - A gains implies B loses.

Other agreements are not win-lose ("potluck versus buffet").

In the case of the TPP the US is looking to establish itself, its rules and its influence in the Pacific - to the chagrin of China. While partnerships between the US and China continue to strengthen, some key areas have always kept the two from being too close. Financially China poses a threat to the US it hasn't faced in close to a century. The Renminbi represents a real (but not grave) threat to the dollar and established economic dominance. China refuses to acknowledge a fixed Western world order and in these pursuits it plays fair and nonviolent but hard.

Obama gleefully reminded Chinese delegates that it championed TTIP before the birth of the TPP. At this level of the game, when nations are not in full competition, there's some level of gain-and-lose. That is to say: yes - one side is getting screwed by the TPP (China). But only if the US plays its cards right. If it doesn't, it will be China that screws the US. And let us not discount the dreams and ambitions rest of the Asia-Pacific or the rest of the world.


"In the case of the TPP the US is looking to establish itself, its rules and its influence in the Pacific"

There is the issue with that. THERE!!!! Just stay the fuck where you are and do not "establish itself" the world all over.

I don't mean that directed at you personally but at your gov.


> I don't mean that directed at you personally but at your gov.

I understand. I get it. I'm actually very partial to the idea.

It's the unfortunate truth that China is also making big bets to establish itself around the world and to gain influence - for example its heavy investment in Africa or the development of its own (BRICS) world bank.

The US is not some lone perpetrator.

The world would be better if we could all 'just get along'.


I agree with your view on China and that we just should get along. That would mean though, that certain nations would just need to start to withdraw their troops from the all over the world.


It's a nice idea, but power vacuums tend to be filled.


There is a proposed US-EU equivalent of the Australia - Hong Kong arbitration panel for ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement), http://www.computerworlduk.com/blogs/open-enterprise/ttip-up...

"So what the European Commission is proposing with the dispute resolution chapter is how future clashes with the US over those key social constructs should be resolved. And the answer is: by a three-person arbitration panel.

That is, key aspects of everyday life - the social, environmental and safety protections that have been laid down over decades or more - can be thrown out purely on the say of those three people if it is decided that they clash with TTIP. And remember: "The ruling of the arbitration panel shall be unconditionally accepted by the Parties."

So if, for whatever reason, the arbitration panel says a well-established regulation protecting health and safety, or the environment, has to go, well, it has to go, even if the vast majority of the public that it will effect disagrees."


AFAIK, the ISDS has been met with enough opposition that it has been essentially expunged from the treaty.


How do you know that for sure when the meetings are held in private?


References would be helpful, the citation above is only a week old, and Computerworld has been following the subject closely.


It looks like I misremembered. The result of the public consultation was overly against ISDS, but the setback was less major that I thought.


>It would be a shame to trade major strategic opportunities for the ability to share ripped DVDs.

1. It's not merely the "ability to share ripped DVDs". It's also the ability to have a little privacy, the ability to watch my DVD's on a player/device of my choosing, and probably a few other things I've forgotten. 1. No it wouldn't be a shame. The US is chock-full of rubes waiting to separated from their money, and as long as we have any money left, no growing economy like the ones in Asia are going to leave so many customers on the table.

>It's a sort of damned if you do damned if you don't scenario.

No, it's a shitty deal that we'd be fools to accept.


Only me think of how weird it is that US "the land of the free" is a country that loves to trade freedom for money and security?

The only thing that separates US from some "non-free" countries is that in those countries the freedom was traded for internal stability (ie: politicians took freedoms to ensure they can stay in power and steal all that they want, to the population this mean no civil war or revolutions, at least for a while).


Thanks for putting TPP in an international perspective. One question, why would an Asian partner accept those strict copyright rules if it puts a big part of their population at risk? What's in it for them?


Capital and trade flows, foreign investment, port access, shipping rights and partnerships. It is also not a one-way street; they get to negotiate in areas they feel with benefit their countries the most as well.


So basically, us people sre losing out to macho posturing between large countries that refuse to get along.


It's all about money. Hollywood is greedy and wants more to create another mediocre (at best) movies.


A business wanting to make more money by charging for their good/bad/ok product? how evil.

I don't agree that copyright infringement should be a criminal rather than civil matter.

Even when I'm watching a mediocre movie, I still appreciate that it took lots of peoples time and money to create.

Edit: updated with word 'more' in response to response to this response of a response


Parent said more money. They already make money - for example, 2014 was NBCUniversal's most profitable year in its history, and box office revenue in general has been rising.


> A business wanting to make more money by charging for their good/bad/ok product? how evil.

A business encouraging governments to throw people in jail for something which has never been considered a criminal infraction in order to make more money is pretty evil.

I would never dream of asking a government to throw somebody in jail for pirating my software. The benefit that I get (ostensibly deterrence) is minuscule in comparison to the human cost of a criminal record and even a short stint in jail.


I think i made it clear in my comment that I also dis-agree with it being a criminal matter. That was not really the argument I was responding to.


>> It's all about money. Hollywood is greedy and wants more to create another mediocre (at best) movies.

> A business wanting to make money by charging for their good/bad/ok product? how evil.

That doesn't follow in the slightest.

> I don't agree that copyright infringement should be a criminal rather than civil matter.

> Even when I'm watching a mediocre movie, I still appreciate that it took lots of peoples time and money to create.

I'm sorry, but I still don't see what you're adding to this thread.

It literally is about money. The entire industry does not want their current business model to end because of how profitable it is. It, sadly for them, is a dead horse and has been since VHS. They should have pivoted their model back then, hell, they should have at least seen it coming when napster hit the scene, everyone saw movie copying coming straight after music. Why didn't they?

You can appreciate the effort of cogs in an antique machine all you like, but I started lacking all and any sympathy for the lot of them the second they started pushing bullshit takedowns all over the web[1][2].

On making money by charging for their work being evil, no it isn't, not in the slightest. Yet pushing, paying for, and lobbying behind closed doors for the kinds of censorship they are lobbying for, well that is pretty much evil no matter which way you look at it. And them losing, or being unable to make money simply does not excuse that in any way:

"No industry gets to dismantle civil liberties with the poor excuse that they can't make money otherwise." [3]

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilling_effects

[2] https://www.google.com/search?q=site:chillingeffects.org

[3] https://torrentfreak.com/letter-copyright-monopoly-140921/


My initial comment was a reaction to the sense of entitlement that I sensed in the comment.

My response may be out of place in this thread, but no more than the initial comment.

If I have mis-interpreted the initial content, then I apologies, but I still don't think I have.

Again, I am totally against Hollywoods overreach and attempts to inflict a dying business model by the means described in the article.


Hollywood brought that up to itself, you can't be paying actors for millions and then wonder why people want to get your stuff for free. Make affordable prices by reducing actors salaries and gfx artists salaries to 6 figures rather than having them sitting at a lot of millions.


I think you got it completely backwards. It's demand vs. supply,like everywhere else. If you are making a film,and want to hire an actor, you have to look around - if Robert D. Junior wants $10 million to play this role,and an unknown actor X will play it for $100k, you either pay $10 million to hire RDJ,or he won't work for you. You can't "Make affordable prices by reducing actors salaries" - you are simply not in charge of that, you are not their boss, or their accountant. And in general, I have no idea where you got this silly notion that somehow people wouldn't want films for free if the actors were paid less.


Not sure where you're getting the idea that VFX artists are on six figures, none of the ones I know personally, in the US or Australia, are.

That's not to say that VFX isn't a large cost to film production, just that the cats sitting on computers running Houdini aren't necessarily the ones racking in huge sums of money.


They pay what people are willing to buy for. And you are mistanken about the salaries of the sfx guys. There is a large cost in hardware and the fact that they are many people working there.


I can't speak for the US, but I'm just not buying the fear about the TPP. I honestly can't see the Australian judiciary sending people to jail, or issuing large fines, for sharing media.

Suppose the sentencing is mandatory leaving the judiciary with no choice. We'll see how long that lasts, but very well then, I'll happily spend 3 months in an Australian prison for sharing media. I think you'd probably have to book in advance. How comical.

How can law enforcement possibly police this? The idea is so ridiculous, like some kind of 'War on Piracy'.

> penalties that include sentences of imprisonment as well as monetary fines sufficiently high to provide a deterrent to future acts of infringement

C'mon, seriously? Is there anyone who doesn't know risk of imprisonment doesn't act as deterrent. There are Australian's about to be executed in Indonesia for drug trafficking. Should be pretty obvious.

I'm sorry, but with all the hyped up FUD, I just can't seem to get uptight about the TPP.

Certainly life will go on, and people will continue to share media.


You apparently haven't been keeping up with the news, as this kind of "remote prosecution" already happens. It is not theoretical.

If you want a quick intro to these attacks, I suggest watching the most recent John Oliver episode.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150216/17390930032/john-...


Did you link to the right video? We still have plain tobacco packaging in Australia. Can you tell me where to skip to in the video that talks about remote prosecution of individuals with regard to piracy.


Keep watching - the corporate stuff starts a few minutes in, with the tobacco industry throwing around threats to various countries legislatures to stop those legislatures from passing Australian-style packaging laws and other public-health regulations.

edit: if you're in a hurry, try starting at about 5:55 https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=6U...


Can you tell me where to skip to in the video that talks about remote prosecution of individuals with regard to piracy.


They will likely throw a few major offenders in jail as exemplars. For the rest they will probably use various (im-proportionately) large fines to continue to discourage people from filesharing.

"How can law enforcement possibly police this?"

Given that breaching copyright would be classified as a criminal offence with the TPP, and meta-data access is only for criminal purposes, meta-data and an automated system can be used. So once the system is in place, very easily.

"C'mon, seriously? Is there anyone who doesn't know risk of imprisonment doesn't act as deterrent. There are Australian's about to be executed in Indonesia for drug trafficking. Should be pretty obvious."

Risk of imprisonment may not deter some, but it may deter enough for them to feel its worth it.


> Given that breaching copyright would be classified as a criminal offence with the TPP, and meta-data access is only for criminal purposes, meta-data and an automated system can be used. So once the system is in place, very easily.

Okay sure. But this requires me to believe that software developers won't come up with a protocol that anonymises and encrypts my pirate downloads, thereby rendering meta-data and automated systems ineffective.

The risk of imprisonment thing is just nonsense. We've already seen people go to jail for trivial 'hacks', yet cybercrime is still a huge industry.

Your tech savvy mates (that's me and you) will show you how to download pirated media in a way that's safe from the prying eyes of the law, and life will continue.

These proposed laws are farcical because they're dependant on the current way of doing things, a way of doing things that leaves a meta-data trail. I smell a software solution, and we already know how quickly the entire world can switch file sharing protocols.


I don't think Hollywood thinks it can catch tech savvy people like us here. They want to catch and deter non tech savvy people.

Sure, the non tech savvy people can learn how to circumvent detection by using a VPN from others who know, but this then creates a barrier. It requires an account with montly/yearly subscription. This also leaves a trail. If enough people are using a VPN povider (thats within the US reach) just like ISP's they can request user details, linking a credit card to an IP address. Of course you could use bit coins, but then this is another barrier which will likely deter many people.

Even if it only works for a few years becuase some amazing crypto software is developed and makes it imposible to track people, they will have gotten the message across to most people in the mean time. It will also likely only be a matter of time before someone figures out a way to circumvent the crytpo.

Stating hackers don't stop from the threat of jail even for minor things, and implying it will be the same for filesharing is stretching it. Cybercrime is fundamentally different to filesharing. Different people and different scenarios.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SelectiveEnforcem...

"SpongeBob SquarePants: In Bikini Bottom, harassing your business rival to near-suicide, destroying stuff because you've got the IQ of a turnip, or being an all-around annoying jackass with No Indoor Voice is perfectly acceptable. Littering, however, can get you an orange jumpsuit. Just ask Squidward or Mrs. Puff."

How I Met Your Mother: Marshall talked his way out of a ticket by offering to bring the cop to his barbecue. Robin, being a pretty girl, can get out of a ticket easily. Barney? No way. It doesn't help that he takes getting out of a ticket as a challenge and proceeds to get a dozen tickets as a means of proving that he can get out of one.


We don't need TPP for law enforcement to enact Selective Enforcement. David Hicks' case should be evidence enough of that.

If your / my government wants to detain you fairly indefinitely for no reason whatsoever, it can already do that.

I tend to believe the only way through this mess, probably, is through it. Things like this are probably going to have to get a bit worse before they get better. The average person -that is to say, a person who doesn't read a lot of tech related news- doesn't really know, doesn't really care.

It's like some kind of bizarre paraphrasing of Douglas Adams: Having you committed three felonies today? Why not make it four with breakfast at the end of a pirated film.

I realise expressing my lack of concern over this probly isn't very popular in this forum. Like I'm supposed to be drastically and irrationally concerned about some law and a slippery slope argument.

I'm not though. I cross on the red light, occasionally smoke marijuana, habitually exceed the speed limit, and pirate media.

If Government thinks it can legislate, or intimidate, away minor infractions of victimless crimes, jokes on them.

I just can't take it seriously. I think the appropriate response isn't to be all "omg, draconian government, panic panic panic", no. The appropriate response is to laugh at the politicians and bureaucrats who come up with this nonsense.

If this this proposed legislation actually gets enacted then perhaps what we should all do is voluntarily turn ourselves in Flash Mob style. Probably while smoking reefers.


That's not incompatible with asking your US representative to block Fast-Track and encouraging more transparency and debate on the proposals :)

If software is eating the world, these IP and copyright issues need to be addressed in a sensible manner that encourages future innovation, without being constrained by legacy thinking and economics. The issues are bigger than any one agreement and will affect many startups and people on HN.


I agree.


Have you missed Kim "Dotcom" being arrested in New Zealand at the behest of the FBI?


Did you miss the bit where Kim Dotcom is a free man and running a file sharing company with better user privacy that the previous iteration.

I think the Kim Dotcom saga demonstrates my point of these types of laws being farcical.


He is not free, he's under bail.


I sit corrected.


This is the kind of legislation that can be enforced selectively. Don't like the guy? Is he with the opposition or is he a journalist? This makes it dangerous to democracy.


> I honestly can't see the Australian judiciary sending people to jail, or issuing large fines, for sharing media.

You'll either be right, or you'll be wrong. If the latter...




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: