#1 By: Cory Doctorow, December 17th, 2013 19:01
#2 By: Spocko, December 17th, 2013 19:22
One of the questions that a friend asked me the other day was interesting "Why is the TPP a secret, can't we file FOIA requests? I did not have an answer.
Under what laws, rules, or schemes do they say it is secret?
What is the punishment for someone who reveals the documents?
What is the punishment for someone who prints them?
Was the WikiLeaker who revealed this part of the the TPP found or punished? By whom? What was the punishment? Under whose law were they punished?
Is the reason it is secret to the public the same as to the reason it is secret to the Representatives?
Does the Public have a right to know? What do the negotiators tell the press when they ask to see it?
Is this because Obama wants this kept secret? Is this part of the Imperial Presidency? Or do all Presidents do this?
Is the rule only people in the Executive branch can know? Why not our representatives?
If the reason the terms are secret is so America can get a better deal, what would prevent some other country from leaking and vis versa, or are all the big companies representing countries really happy it's all a secret and they don't want the public or politicians to know because it could mess up their deal.
If you can't get FOIA requests and we don't want to wait for another leak, what sets can people or groups take to force this information out into the public? Come on' people think creatively. Help a Vulcan out.
#3 By: Cary, December 17th, 2013 19:44
I'm sure that Shariel helps Vulcans who help themselves... Become a NSA contractor and patch us into the TPP data line.
#4 By: Stefan Jones, December 17th, 2013 19:44
I know of at least one pair of game designers who are counting on the 35 year publishing-rights expiration thing to get their design back. They have just a year or two to wait . . .
#5 By: BlindWanderer, December 17th, 2013 19:51
While termination rights sound important, it also sounds like it has the potential to torpedo any open source software that isn't in the public domain. Though I suspect it would be impossible to track down all the original parties who originally licensed the contribution to be able to yoink it (as the law requires). Of course I can imagine a judge ruling that taking out ads (online, tv, radio, etc) putting everyone on notice was sufficient to satisfy the law, or that the laws requirement in OSS situations was onerous and could be waved.
Speaking of public domain, what happens if the person who buys the copyrights puts the content into the public domain? Does it leave the public domain? Did congress kill public domain 36 years ago and we not notice?
I think OSS is in trouble, particularly FOSS. I am loath to say it but this part of TPP has a plus side.
#6 By: bwv812, December 17th, 2013 21:48
You can skirt copyright in open-source by simply rewriting everything. Since only the expression, and not the ideas, can be copyrighted, rewriting to obtain the same functionality is feasible. Indeed, Google rewrote Java when it developed Android, and even though it retained Sun's APIs in its own brew, in Oracle v. Google a court found that you can't protect APIs, as they are basically functional in nature and required for interoperability.
Indeed, the main protection from closed source software is in that the source code is secret—and not that it's copyright—because the secrecy of the code makes it difficult to replicate the ideas and functionality behind the code. It's a lot harder to reverse engineer software than it is to massage code.
#7 By: Kimmoth, December 18th, 2013 03:04
#8 By: Anton Gully, December 18th, 2013 06:27
My theory is that these things tend towards self-correction. If you make the rules too strict, people respond by infringing more. So if you put a bunch of shit at the start of a DVD, people will tend to steal a clean copy of the movie on-line instead of handing over money for an inferior experience. If you start suing music fans, people stop buying CDs because all they're doing is funding lawyers.
This might just be me though.
#9 By: Jason Lane, December 18th, 2013 07:36
Hmmmm, not really true though is it? I mean from a certain perspective it is, yes any barrier that is set up will slow the efforts to as you say reverse-engineer a function, method, application. However I would say that particular battle was lost long ago, the one that said: "security through obscurity", it has made little difference. This is why DRM is a bad idea, bad in it's aim but also bad in that DRM very rarely stands for very long before it's broken, the obscurity stops nothing, protects nothing.
Closed source systems by their nature are the limited gene pools of the engineering world, that is to say there tend to be smaller active participants working in the closed source world as opposed to the open source model. So in actual fact by opening up source one tends to increase both the participants (more eyes) and the cycles of that code. So the net effect is actually more secure, robust software in the open source world.
#10 By: Steven Belsky, December 19th, 2013 12:06
IF any international treaty, national law or agency regulation to MAKE A CHANGE TO ANY CURRENT LAWS IN EFFECT __ THEY SHOULD BE INVALID UNTIL THE PARTIES TO THE RULES CAN WEIGH IN AND GIVE THEIR OPINION.
FOR THIS PART OF THE TREATY IT SHOULD MEAN
COPYRIGHT REVERTS TO THE ARTISTS UNTIL NEW TERMS ARE PUT IN WRITING.
If the artist to a work can not be found (OR IS DEAD): 1. Try to track down relatives OR 2. PICK A NAME FROM A LISTING OF SOME TYPE (PHONE BOOK, VOTER ROLLS, MOTOR VEHICLE RECORDS__ OTHER __) (SO THE RICH CAN NOT BUY THE COPYRIGHT AT AUCTION) AND HAND THEM THE COPYRIGHT.
CLEARLY whatever infrastructure is needed (new companies, hiring lawyers and money managers / accounts) are needed to help the new copyright owners __ SHOULD BE PAYED FOR BY THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE PROPOSER / SIGNER OF THE TREATY / LAW / REGULATION.
In this case it is the national governments (not U.S. states, county, city OR REGIONAL bodies) rule making body (unless a regional body is signing the treaty).
#11 By: BlindWanderer, December 19th, 2013 23:35
True you can rewrite everything but you might find yourself really screwed if it's something critical, and it would definitely leave people scrambling. The only plus is that the law requires you give at least two years notices (before the 35 year anniversary). That all said to be able to do this would require some strange circumstances for sourcecode, eg, that the copyright was transferred from the creator and it wasn't a work for hire. OSS copyrights are either works for hire or never transferred. Early software copyrights might be a different story, I'm sure the 1980's had plenty of hobbyist who sold their game copyrights to manufacturers etc.
#12 By: bwv812, December 20th, 2013 02:37
Really? I'm surprised. I can understand that software development contracts may say that things are work for hire, but certain conditions have to be met before something is legally considered work for hire in the US (essentially, the employer has to be able to substantially control and direct the employer, and for the most part subcontracting won't cut it), while in other countries work for hire is even more restrictive. If I were an employer drawing up a contract I'd say that everything is work for hire but still require an assignment of copyright as well. I can see how an army of Sun programmers working on Java would be considered doing work for hire, but it wasn't my impression that most OSS was created under that model.
#13 By: Cory Doctorow, December 22nd, 2013 19:01
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