We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Stop Congress From Taking the Fast Track to One-Sided Copyright Laws

Click here to access article by Maira Sutton from Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The author brings us up-to-date on the latest developments in relation to three "free trade" agreements being negotiated mostly in secret. All of the arrangements surrounding the negotiations provide full access to the details by large corporate players, but limited access by Congressional members, and other provisions designed to favor corporate interests and limit public influence. Welcome to the privatized New Corporate World Order.
The core of the problem is that corporate advisors, like the copyright industries, have easy and ongoing access to negotiations. In the case of TPP, they can log-in from any computer and see and comment on draft text. Meanwhile, Congress members have to go to a special room at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative where they can only view the text on a “read and retain” basis. That means they can’t take notes, make no copies, and bring no supporting staff—even those who have proper security clearance and have the expertise to make sense of the language in trade agreements.
While this foundation urges everyone to put pressure on Congress by signing petitions, the only action that might give you some chance at real influence is to enclose a check for least $10,000.00 to your local Senator or Representative.