Posts Tagged ‘Copyright’

The Electronic Frontier Foundation on the TPP

April 17, 2015

tpp_1Well, it’s too late now to try to influence the negotiations.

Senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, the chair and vice-chair of the Senate finance committee, and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, the chair of the House ways and means committee, agreed to support fast-track approval for the proposed 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement.

This would mean that the House would have 60 days to discuss the agreement, and the Senate would have an additional 30 days, before they voted “yes” or “no”, with no possibility of amendment.

The fact that President Obama and powerful Congressional leaders support fast track does not mean that it has been approved.  The procedure requires a vote of the House and Senate, and, since there is strong opposition in both parties, it may well not be approved.

At home & abroad: Links & comments 11/21/13

November 21, 2013

The Wahhabi-Likudnik war of terror by Pepe Escobar for Asia Times.

Sandbagging Negotiations between U.S. and Iran by M.J. Rosenberg for the Washington Spectator.

The Coming Drone Wars: Iran Unveils Its Own Drone, With a 1,200-Mile Range by Juan Cole.

President Obama deserves credit for responding to Iranian peace overtures, but he faces greater obstacles both at home and abroad than did Presidents Reagan and Nixon did in making peace with the USSR and China.

Iran embassy bombing scene

Iran embassy bombing scene in Beirut

Foreign correspondent Pepe Escobar speculates on who was behind the suicide bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut, an act of terrorism that left 170 wounded and at least 23 dead.  M.J. Rosenberg discusses the forces in Washington that oppose U.S.-Iran peace negotiations.  And Juan Cole notes that Iran is developing its own flying killer drones, probably based on reverse-engineering a U.S. surveillance drone that was captured in Iranian air space.

U.S.-Afghan Security Pact in Doubt After Hamid Karzai Rejects Provision by Reuters.  Hat tip to Psychopolitik.

Kerry, Karzai put pact before jirga by Radio Free Europe.  [added later]

Kerry, Karzai reach Afghan security agreement by the Deutsche Welle broadcasting network.  [added later]

The U.S. government won agreement of Afghan President Hamad Karzai to allow 13,000 U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan indefinitely, without being subject to the jurisdiction of Afghan courts.  Their mission will be to advise and assist Afghan forces in resisting a Taliban return to power.  Before the agreement goes into effect, it must receive approval from the loya jirga, a traditional Afghan council, for approval, and then ratification by the official Afghan parliament.  [rewritten to reflect the Kerry Karzai agreement].

Obama Meets Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki as Terror Rages Across Country by Stephen Collinson of Agence France Presse.

Two years after the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, Prime Minister Al-Maliki asks for U.S. high-tech armaments to put down an insurgency which he says is led by Al Qaeda.  What will happen if his request is turned down?  Will he get the weaponry he wants from Russia or China?  From the U.S. standpoint, there are no good options, except to try to minimize U.S. involvement in other nations’ conflicts to begin with.  Getting-out-of is always harder than getting-into.  [revised]

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Alice in Wonderland indeed

October 4, 2010

This is old news, but I just learned about it through an article by Robert Darnton on the New York Review of Books web log.  Abobe Systems 2000 e-book version of Alice in Wonderland, which was first published in 1865, came with the following restrictions.

Copy: No text selections can be copied from the book to the clipboard….

Lend: This book cannot be lent to someone else.

Give: This book cannot be given to someone else.

Read aloud: This book cannot be read aloud.

Lawrence Lessig, the intellectual property expert, explained that this wasn’t quite as bad as it sounded because Adobe didn’t actually mean “read aloud” by the words read aloud, but the use of an audio system called Read Aloud in connection with the book.  These seems like Wonderland use of language. Anyhow the book is, and was then in the public domain, so why shouldn’t people be free to copy, lend, give or read aloud the book in any sense of the word they chose?

This compares to Amazon’s deleting 1984 from its Kindle systems last year – an illustration of the novel’s “memory hole” in real life.  Once again, this wasn’t as bad as it sounded.  The copyright doesn’t expire in the United States until 2044, and Amazon received information questioning its right to publish.  1984 was published in 1949, and George Orwell died in 1950; I don’t see what purpose is served in extending copyright for 95 years after publication.

Robert Darnton’s article was about the benefits of digitizing the world’s books.  Maybe he’s right, but I’ll hang on to my paper versions of Alice in Wonderland and 1984. Nobody can delete them or forbid me to copy, sell, give or lend them, or read them aloud.

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