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EU Parliament: Copyright Laws About Corporations NOT Artists.

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Open Rights Group: Against widespread dissent and controversy MEPs in the European Parliament voted this morning to allow copyright term extension to pass a first reading.

4 out of the 7 main groups (ALDE, GREENS/EFA, NGL, IND/ DEM) together with a cross party platform of MEPs voted to reject the proposal. Internal opposition threatened the group positions of the two largest parties (PSE and EPP) as several national delegations and key MEPS also joined the fight to reject. We understand that, in total, 222 voted in favour of rejection, 370 against. The final vote was 317 in favour, 178 against, 37 abstentions. A key amendment to ensure benefits accrued only to performers was also rejected.

The proposal now moves forward to the Council of Ministers where it is currently blocked by member states. The fundamental problems remain: how to include a workable use-it-or-lose it clause; agreeing to deliver real benefits to the vast majority of performers; how to avoid breaking the respect necessary for a functioning IP system by simply taking money from the pockets of consumers.

While the lobbying of powerful vested interests pushed the proposal through, the widespread condemnation in the press, among stakeholders, and in the European Parliament shows that our argument has been won in the eyes of the public and that Europe must create balanced and fair copyright if it wants a system fit for purpose in the 21st century.

bspcomment FUCK THEM ALL!

Written by mattliving

April 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Europeans Fight New World Order. North Americans Order Out.

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North America today is a fat, lazy culture too overweight and out of shape to bother fighting for our own democracy. That is of course if you’re talking about the types of protests that require participants to pick up a sign and actually walk around.

We have become blind to our own acts of violence unleashed upon the world for the sake of our biggie fries and $5 Walmart flip flops. So long as the real world remains safely off shore and “secure” by the current “coalition” standards we quite happy to go about consuming our way to oblivion.  Without regard for our fellow man/woman, neighbourhood or planet.

Yeah I know that sounds pretty deep and dark but the cold sad truth is that we are no longer capable or nor do we encourage public protest. In fact we have been carefully manipulated into believing that public protest is wrong and that those of us who speak the loudest or with the most force are simply labeled bullies, disciplined and marginalized.

We must begin to teach our children the simple and powerful lessons of history. How nations were and continue to be hijacked by the rich and powerful and who are once again a foot in the shadows of the palace executing a takeover of biblical portions. The powerful have again seized power and this time that are holding democracy hostage using economic weapons of mass distraction to ensure they remain in their privileged sits of power while the rest of the world collapses outside their gilded gates.

As Obama shreds his bold election promises of transparency and accountability into increasingly smaller and irrelevant pieces, he continues to appoint the very bankers, financiers and business executives that burned our global economies to the ground with the extraordinary greed and a stunning disregard for even the simplest of morale standards.

Autoworkers are forced into massive concessions in order for their failed employers to receive a mere sliver of the bailout cash that the banks, investment firms and insurance companies have gorged on since November of 2008. The Obama administration soft peddles excuses about why the contracts of the rich and ruling class are somehow more important or valid than autoworkers and they must be upheld based on some false American principle.

The Obama administration seems paralyzed by the fear that their gigantic Ponzi scheme underway will be revealed and their country will collapse under the weight if it’s own self-centered greed. They seem obsessed in their efforts to hid the truth and deceive Americans about the real and present danger in their economy – corrupt bankers and CEOs. While their efforts may appear to have some very short term benefits, they will be short and the pain that they will unleash for the next decade will be incalculable.

The same forces appear to be at work here is Canada too. As Federal Finance Minister Flaherty recently called the “recession”, “relatively … mild recession” posing “relatively mild challenges”. Remember this is the same schmuck who boldly declared Canada was all but immune to growing global financial crisis during the 2008 election campaign only reverse course and admit that Canada wasn’t so sheltered after all. Then his minority government attempted to obliterate the opposition parties by eliminating public funding of the parties under the banner of fiscal restraint.

But the Conservative carnival did not end there. So venomous was the backlash of the opposition parties that they formed a perfectly legal coalition only to watch a minority government petition the Governor General to suspend the Canadian Parliament for nearly two months to avoid a non-confidence vote.

Now Mr. Flatherty says that stimulus money is not moving fast enough and the governemnt must loosen the oversight reigns in order to save our floundering economy. Sound familiar? You know that economy that was/is so perfectly shielded from the deepening financial and political crisis and will only suffer a mild recession while the entire global economy teeters on the brink of a full blown depression even worse than the dirty 30’s. Only now the Conservatives are claiming that the very regulations that they tried for decades to eliminate are THE ONLY thing that saved Canadian banks from suffering the same near fatal collapses of their breatheren south of the border.

The same regulations and oversight that Mr. Flaherty wants to loosen the “speed up” the recovery. (:

Written by mattliving

April 4, 2009 at 8:53 am

New Home Sales Fell 41% in February. They DID NOT Increase.

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home_sales_boomRGE: The parade of the mathematically innumerate business writers continue to misread data. The latest evidence? New Home Sales.

After incorrectly reporting the Existing Home Sales, the mainstream media misread the Census department report of New Homes.

No, New Home Sales data did not improve. In fact, they were not only not positive, they were actually horrific. The year over year number was a terrible down 41%. Sales from this same period a year ago have nearly been halved.

Why did the media report this as positive? If you only read the headline number, you saw a positive datapoint: February was plus 4.7% over January.

bspcomment Now the really funny stuff is going to start. Having failed to arrest the landslide of economy failures the government has now decided to manipulate the numbers to spin a rosey picture. And once again the fifth estate is buying in lock, stock and barrel. Listen folks, you don’t go from near total collapse to almost 5% gorwth in 30 days. Please, if you believe that I’ll show where the WMDs are in Iraq.

Written by mattliving

March 26, 2009 at 11:53 am

President “Change” Says NO Public Viewing of ACTA.

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The negotiating text of ACTA and many other documents, including even the lists of participants in the negotiations, are secret. The White House claims the secrecy is required as a matter of national security. But that does not mean the documents are off limits to everyone outside of the government. Hundreds of advisors, many of them corporate lobbyists, are considered “cleared advisors.” They have access to the ACTA documents.

Who are these cleared advisors? They are the members of these 27 USTR advisory boards:

All members of the advisory boards can request access to classified ACTA documents. Below are the members of just four of the advisory boards, ITAC 15, 8, 10 and 3.

White House says ACTA text a State Secret. EU parliament says time for more transparency…

Knowledge Ecology Notes: On January 31, 2009, KEI submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to USTR for copies of seven documents containing much of the negotiating text of the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Today the White House office the United States Trade Representative denied the request, claiming the documents are “information that is properly classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.”

Here is a PDF copy of the letter denying the FOIA.

In a post that provide more context, I wrote about the denial today in the HuffingtonPost, here:

There is also a very good Declan McCullagh CNET Story on the FOIA denial here.

In a related development, the European Parliament is demanding transparency of the ACTA documents. See, for example, the Ars Technica report: European Parliament to EU: Turn over ACTA docs!.

bspcomment NO public viewing unless you’re one of the “privileged” 116 Lobbyists, CEOs from virtually every large sector; including GM, chemical, petroleum, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, etc. or Corporate Lawyers who apparently have the “right stuff” to view this super sensitive document. Which by the way, carves up the new world into more manageable slices for these giant, corporate pigs to pillage!

The ACTA is arguably the most important trade agreement that is about to be implemented by the G20 countries in decades. Even the EU realizes the true scope of this treaty and is demanding more transparancy for the talks and the documents that nations feel are “too sensitive” to share with the public.

If recent actions by these same governments during the financial meltdown are any indication, they’re selling the future of free speech, open access and innovation to the highest bidder.

So much for CHANGE!

Written by mattliving

March 14, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Over $1 TRILLION Since 1970 Doesn’t Include The $1 TRILLION Injected Into Markets

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Infographics: Since 1970 the U.S. taxpayers had bailed out private corporations to the tune of $1 TRILLION.

This does not take into account the massive budget deficits that the current U.S. administration is piling up nor does it include the estimated $1 TRILLION the U.S. Fed has pumped into the U.S. markets in an effort to stem the flow of failure and “unfreeze” the credit markets.

bspcomment TRILLIONS for private corporations but no money for Social Security, Medical Coverage or Education because that would be socialism and that’s unAmerican! Holy shit when are you people going to wake up to the fact that these greedy bastard corporations have been stealing from your wallets for decades!

Written by mattliving

March 8, 2009 at 9:03 pm

The 2008-2009 Great Corporate Ripoff

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$2.1 trillion

As of March 2, amount spent by the US government on the bailout of failing financial corporations.

$696 billion

Cost to give every US household a $500 voucher each month for an entire year to be spent on rent, mortgage, home improvements, furniture, property taxes, etc.

$787 billion

Total cost of the recently passed stimulus package.

(The Seminal)

bspcomment I think it’s about time to start demanding OUR governments start investing as heavily in YOU and I as they are investing in the FAILED corporate dinosaurs.

Written by mattliving

March 7, 2009 at 10:51 am

Jim Rogers: Better to Bankrupt a Company Than The Country!

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bankruptcy CNBC: American International Group should be allowed to go bankrupt because keeping it and other sick financials alive on government support risks ruining the US economy, legendary investor Jim Rogers told CNBC Tuesday.

American International Group should be allowed to go bankrupt because keeping it and other sick financials alive on government support risks ruining the US economy, legendary investor Jim Rogers told CNBC Tuesday.

AIG whose $61.66 billion fourth-quarter loss was the largest ever for a US company, received $30 billion more in government funds Monday. The insurer’s financial health hasn’t improved despite getting as much as $150 billion from the government last year.

“Suppose AIG goes bankrupt, it is better that AIG goes bankrupt and we have a horrible two or three years than that the whole US goes bankrupt,” Rogers said. “AIG has trillions of dollars of obligations, let them fail, let the courts sort it out and start over. Otherwise we’ll never start over.”

bspcomment Finally someone is getting through to the “mainstream” media. After months of laughing and snorting at the likes of Jim Rogers and Peter Schiff it seems that more and more Americans are waking up to the sad reality that these companies have to be left to fail and reorganize if they hope to shorten the deep recession and inevitable depression the U.S. and the world are sliding faster and faster towards. No company is too big to fail. That’s just a rich assholes way of trying to frighten the common folk into bailing his greedy ass out!

Written by mattliving

March 3, 2009 at 7:25 pm