16 votes

Changes for automakers, dairy farmers, labor unions and large corporations headline the renegotiated USMCA, which is poised to replace Nafta

4 comments

  1. [3]
    Amarok
    (edited )
    Link
    At first glance, seems like all of this was in the now-defeated Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. I must be in bizarro-world, though, because as I'm reading this, it's vastly superior (and...
    • Exemplary

    At first glance, seems like all of this was in the now-defeated Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. I must be in bizarro-world, though, because as I'm reading this, it's vastly superior (and simpler) when compared to the TPP. The telecommunications regulations are excellent. That's a major upgrade from the TPP. Widely favoring open communications, cable unbundling becomes a requirement, everyone gets full access to the infrastructure, just like the power grid. Well fucking done.

    I was wondering if it carried over TPP's rather horrifying force-ISPs-to-spy provisions - that was the major sticking point last time and what ultimately caused the internet to rise up and defeat that mess. Under the intellectual property section (PDF warning) everyone should probably read this article...

    Article 20.J.10: Internet Service Providers

    It's near the end. It's definitely based on the same sections from the TPP, but notably missing this time is the requirement that ISPs spy on their users. In fact they specifically call out that shouldn't happen.

    1. For purposes of the functions referred to in subparagraphs 2(c) and 2(d), each Party shall establish appropriate procedures in its law or in regulations for effective notices of claimed infringement, and effective counter-notices by those whose material is removed or disabled through mistake or misidentification. If material has been removed or access has been disabled in accordance with paragraph 3, that Party shall require that the Internet Service Provider restores the material that is the subject of a counter-notice, unless the person giving the original notice seeks relief through civil judicial proceedings within a reasonable period of time as set forth in that Party’s law or regulations.

    2. Each Party shall ensure that monetary remedies are available in its legal system against any person that makes a knowing material misrepresentation in a notice or counter-notice that causes injury to any interested party as a result of an Internet Service Provider relying on the misrepresentation.

    That's kinda huge. It means lawsuits against people abusing the DMCA to take down content they don't own. We need that, badly.

    1. Eligibility for the limitations in paragraph 1 shall be conditioned on the service provider:
      (a) adopting and reasonably implementing a policy that provides for termination in appropriate circumstances of the accounts of repeat infringers;
      (b) accommodating and not interfering with standard technical measures accepted in the Party’s territory that protect and identify copyrighted material, that are developed through an open, voluntary process by a broad consensus of copyright owners and service providers, that are available on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms, and that do not impose substantial costs on service providers or substantial burden s on their systems or networks; and
      (c) with respect to the functions identified in 2(c) and 2(d), not receiving a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, in circumstances where it has the right and ability to control such activity.
      7. Eligibility for the limitations in paragraph 1 shall not be conditioned on the Internet Service Provider monitoring its service or affirmatively seeking facts indicating infringing activity, except to the extent consistent with the technical measures identified in paragraph 6(b).

    So, this trade agreement is opting out of forcing ISPs to actively spy, but leaving it up to the countries themselves to pass other laws that may. That's a big step forward from TPP stipulations which would have made ISPs fully liable for every bit on their networks. This trade agreement is only forcing them to take action when they are notified of infringements, and that has to be done in accordance with each country's laws - the agreement only requires there to be a process. That means since IP addresses are still 'not enough' in the eyes of the law, just hassling an ISP over the IP address used is not enough for them to take action. Business as usual.

    I'm sure the EFF will chime in on this tomorrow and tell us why we should all hate it. First pass for me doesn't look that bad, at least in the telecomm and copyright sections. The rest aren't really my wheelhouse. I'm sure Canada's dairy farmers are going to be pissed as hell.

    I am a bit worried about forcing Canada to stop using generic drugs. If anything, that should go the other way, not favor big pharma. On balance, though, that battle will end up being fought in other bills, not here in this trade agreement.

    The worker's rights provisions are excellent. Good for unions, good for fair wage, good for competition. That should really help out in Mexico. Frankly, I'm astonished, I was expecting a shitshow and this trade agreement looks rather reasonable.

    Edit: And that's what I get for not reading to the end. Look what's lurking at the bottom...

    Annex to Section J

    1. In order to facilitate the enforcement of copyright on the Internet and to avoid unwarranted market disruption in the online environment, Article 20.J.11.3, Article 20.J.11.4, and Article 20.J.11.6 (Legal Remedies and Safe Harbours) shall not apply to a Party provided that, as from the date of agreement in principle of this Agreement, it continues to:

    (a) prescribe in its law circumstances under which Internet Service Providers do not qualify for the limitations described in Article 20.J.11.1(b) (Legal Remedies and Safe Harbours);

    (b) provide statutory secondary liability for copyright infringement in cases in which a person, by means of the Internet or another digital network, provides a service primarily for the purpose of enabling acts of copyright infringement, in relation to factors set out in its law, such as:

    (i) whether the person marketed or promoted the service as one that could be used to enable acts of copyright infringement;
    (ii) whether the person had knowledge that the service was used to enable a significant number of acts of copyright infringement;
    (iii) whether the service has significant uses other than to enable acts of copyright infringement;
    (iv) the person’s ability, as part of providing the service, to limit acts of copyright infringement, and any action taken by the person to do so;
    (v) any benefits the person received as a result of enabling the acts of copyright infringement; and
    (vi) the economic viability of the service if it were not used to enable acts of copyright infringement;

    (c) require Internet Service Providers carrying out the functions referred to in Article 20.J.11.2(a) and (c) (Legal Remedies and Safe Harbours) to participate in a system for forwarding notices of alleged infringement, including if material is made available online, and if the Internet Service Provider fails to do so, subjecting that provider to pre-established monetary damages for that failure;

    (d) induce Internet Service Providers offering information location tools to remove within a specified period of time any reproductions of material that they make, and communicate to the public, as part of offering the information location tool upon receiving a notice of alleged infringement and after the original material has been removed from the electronic location set out in the notice; and

    (e) induce Internet Service Providers carrying out the function referred to in Article 20.J.11.2(c) (Legal Remedies and Safe Harbours) to remove or disable access to material upon becoming aware of a decision of a court of that Party to the effect that the person storing the material infringes copyright in the material.

    My eyes crossed a couple times parsing that nightmare. They are going to force ISPs to develop systems to handle copyright enforcement. That's not the same thing as forcing them to spy - this is forcing them to provide a mechanism for the copyright claims, one they must participate in. I guess the RIAA/MPAA are sick of ISPs tossing all of their IP-based claims into the bit bucket. This seems pretty bad, but frankly, most of them are already doing this, or have done it. The claims system doesn't have to be good, it just has to exist.

    These systems also have to support counter-claims too, so it won't just be big business using them. It'll be everyone who has a copyright problem, small and large (and surely flooded by overzealous lawyer-bots). That may help smaller content creators punish Youtube when, for example, some asshat abuses DMCA to get their channel shut down. I can't imagine Google/Alphabet is going to be happy about this. When they fuck up, they'll be liable, and the channel owners can hit them back.

    Edits: Formatting. PDFs are a curse. I'm glad to see Tildes is eating up the double spaces, though.

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      KapteinB
      Link Parent
      The similarities to TPP stuck out to me as well. One of the first big decisions Trump made was to pull out of that deal, and now his administration has negotiated a strangely similar deal. The...

      The similarities to TPP stuck out to me as well. One of the first big decisions Trump made was to pull out of that deal, and now his administration has negotiated a strangely similar deal.

      The strangest thing about this deal is that it intends to strengthen unions. A Republican administration, strengthening unions? Bizarro World indeed!

      5 votes
      1. Diet_Coke
        Link Parent
        Probably suggested by Canada and missed by the Top Minds of the Trump Admin. Hopefully it doesn't get too much press so it escapes his notice!

        Probably suggested by Canada and missed by the Top Minds of the Trump Admin. Hopefully it doesn't get too much press so it escapes his notice!

        2 votes
  2. KapteinB
    Link
    I'm surprised how little attention this is getting, considering it is a pretty huge deal. I guess the Kavanaugh hearing is overshadowing it.

    I'm surprised how little attention this is getting, considering it is a pretty huge deal. I guess the Kavanaugh hearing is overshadowing it.

    3 votes