Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Every bad internet bill in one:TPP has it all...and none of it good

From Fight For The Future:

We need to be as big and visible as possible to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership — that’s the only way we can win this fight. We all need to get as many people in our audiences, readerships, and communities motivated to do something. We can make this powerfully epic, but only if you help. Companies need to be the frontrunners, leaders, and heroes on this because we’ve seen time and time again with SOPA, Reset The Net, and net neutrality that it’s the key ingredient to raising the bar and making sure everyone goes big.

Time is short — Congress is introducing a bill to Fast Track the TPP in the coming weeks, so we need to act now.

We realize it’s a big ask, but this is the kind of bad legislation that only comes along once every 10 or 20 years. The TPP has pieces of every bad Internet policy we’ve fought against, and if it passes now we’ll be kicking ourselves for decades, fighting uphill battle after uphill battle on copyright reform, whistleblower protections, and so much more. Doing the most we can right now is the only rational step to protecting the open Internet.


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This goes down tomorrow so sign up today. This is your internet protect it.

So how bad is TPP? This bad:

The biggest problem with the Trans-Pacific Partnership is that there’s absolutely no public oversight. The only way we know what’s in the TPP right now is from leaks of specific chapters -- and if Fast Track passes, not only won’t we get more details about the TPP, Congress will have to give a single thumbs up or down to the entire thing.

That means we won’t be able to push for specific items to be removed from the deal -- we’ll be stuck with the whole thing, so as of right now the Trans-Pacific Partnership will do all of the following:

Force sites to remove allegedly infringing content from the web without a court order - scarily similar to SOPA.

Create harsh criminal penalties for journalists and whistleblowers. Any disclosure of information with "commercial value" would be criminalized -- and there would be absolutely no public interest of free speech exemption.

Punish Internet users who share copyrighted material, even without any personal gain. Here's the proposed punishment from the leaked text: "sentences of imprisonment as well as monetary fines sufficiently high to provide a deterrent to future acts of infringement." Again, that's potential prison time for sharing something without any personal gain.

Limit Fair Use to make copyright even more restrictive on creative innovation. Last week, WikiLeaks revealed a series of emails surrounding the TPP where the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) explicitly argued against including any fair use provisions. And it looks pretty clear that if the TPP passes, they'll have their way. That means remixes, sampling, and quoting of copyrighted material could become illegal outside the US.

Allow foreign corporations to sue the United States government if they think that our laws infringe on their profits. This is, quite simply, the most devastating part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It opens the door to undermining every good law we've ever passed to protect the Internet -- the only thing corporations have to do is prove they could make more money if those laws didn't exist.

In short, the TPP isn’t just bad — it’s zombie bad. It has parts of every misguided Internet policy we’ve killed over the last decade trying to become law by completely bypassing every part of our democratic process.


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