Items tagged "Transparency"

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Transparency in Copyright: Needed Now More Than Ever

January 22, 2015 Copyright Reform , Copyright Week , Transparency

As many who follow technology policy and copyright probably already know, we are in the middle of several tremendously important policy debates in copyright law. The Library of Congress is considering proposals to allowing people to break digital locks for certain uses. The U.S. Trade Representative is negotiating a huge free trade agreement, including a copyright chapter, that may get “fast-track” approval from Congress. The Copyright Royalty Board continues to collect data and set rates for statutory licenses used by all sorts of companies that make and distribute music. And, of course, Congress has been conducting hearings and considering proposals for reforming our federal copyright law.

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Putting the Open Internet Transparency Rule to the Test

August 6, 2014 AT&T , Data Caps , T-Mobile , Transparency , Verizon

Today Public Knowledge sent letters to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon as the first step in the process of filing open internet complaints against each of them at the FCC. The letters address violations of the FCC’s transparency requirements, which are the only part of the open internet rules that survived court challenge.

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Copyright and Secrecy Don’t Make for Good Trade Agreements

May 10, 2013 ACTA , International , Limitations & Exceptions , Transparency , USTR

Dear USTR, copyright has meaningful non-economic and social value; keep it out of the U.S.-E.U. Free Trade Agreement. If you have to have it, make sure it protects all Americans and not just large content owners. (And make the agreement transparent and inclusive while you’re at it.)


Today we filed comments about the proposed United States-European Union Free Trade Agreement – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). We told the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that copyright is an uncomfortable fit for a trade agreement and should be kept out of the TTIP.

If the USTR still wants to include copyright within the TTIP, it should make sure that a copyright chapter in the TTIP will not impede Congress’s ability to change U.S. copyright laws.

We also asked the USTR to break from the past and not negotiate the TTIP in secret.

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Civil Society Groups Call for More Opennness in WCIT Process

December 9, 2012 International , ITU , Transparency

[NOTE:If you’re concerned about what the WCIT might mean for international Internet governance, Monday is the time to watch. Some of the most controversial proposals for changes to the international treaty on telecommunications will be discussed in the plenary session Monday evening in Dubai (that’s going to be about 11:30 Eastern Time). The ITU has been live-streaming the plenary sessions here.] Today, a number of civil society groups involved in the ITU’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (“WCIT”) sent a letter to the Secretary General of the ITU, urging him to increase openness and transparency of the ITU to civil society and the world at large.

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Recap: TPP Stakeholder Events in Leesburg, VA

September 11, 2012 TPP , Transparency

On Sunday, dozens of non-profits, companies, and members of the public gathered in Leesburg, VA, to speak out about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the ongoing 14th round of negotiations. Public Knowledge attended the events, stressing to the negotiators the importance of copyright limitations and exceptions, and explaining how the TPP can be fixed to encourage those exceptions.

Stakeholder Presentations: Logistically Challenged

Many logistical challenges clouded the stakeholder events, accentuating the already acute problems of public participation. As others have reported, the USTR initially tried to squeeze public stakeholder presentations to just 8 minutes each for the Leesburg round. After many groups protested, the USTR expanded the time limit to 10 minutes, which is the same amount that stakeholders were given during the July negotiations in San Diego.

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Bipartisan Letter Questions Domain Name Seizures

September 4, 2012 Enforcement , Transparency

On Friday, Representatives Zoe Lofgren, Jason Chaffetz, and Jared Polis sent a letter to the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, demanding to know more about Operation In Our Sites, the program through which law enforcement authorities have been seizing the domain names of websites accused of hosting infringing content.

The letter, addressed to Attorney General Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, notes that seizing domain names without the proper respect for transparency and due process can suppress free speech and cripple legitimate businesses.

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What We Learn (and Don’t Learn) from the TPP Transparency Fact Sheet

June 27, 2012 TPP , Transparency , USTR

The debate over transparency in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) rages on. Yesterday the US Trade Representative (USTR) released a fact sheet on transparency in the TPP negotiations. The fact sheet basically summarizes how the USTR perceives its transparency efforts to date and how it responds to outcry from members of Congress and the public that the level of secrecy surrounding the TPP negotiations is unacceptable.

While this fact sheet is better than no response at all, it does little to address substantive concerns about secrecy in TPP and in fact only shows how public input and accountability is directly dependent on the open availability of substantive information about the TPP’s proposed text.

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Credit Where Credit Is Due: USTR Accommodates Stakeholder Presentations

June 5, 2012 TPP , Transparency , USTR

The US Trade Representative (USTR) just recently announced that it will accommodate both formal presentations and less structured events for stakeholders in the next round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. This is a promising step forward for the USTR’s public engagement efforts, even though it cannot solve the serious problems caused by the lack of transparency in the TPP negotiations.

Combining the Best of Both Worlds

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USTR Gone Rogue

May 16, 2012 TPP , Transparency , USTR

In previous blog posts, Public Knowledge generally described the stakeholder events that occurred this past weekend at the TPP negotiations in Dallas, to give readers a sense of the structure that public interest groups work within during negotiations. This post will be dedicated to the actual substance of the conversations we had with the USTR during those events.

Stakeholder Engagement: A Huge Disappointment

While we thought the general structure of the stakeholder tabling event has its advantages and disadvantages, the substance of the conversations we had with USTR representatives during that event made us seriously concerned that the USTR cannot be prevailed upon to represent the public without complete transparency.

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TPP and a Very Basic Point About Transparency

May 14, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , Forum Shopping , International , Transparency

If you’ve been following this space, you’ve likely seen that Public Knowledge was on the ground in Dallas this past weekend, covering the latest round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, or TPP. Among the various problems with the agreement itself (possible increases to already-draconian copyright penalties internationally, increased emphasis on protecting DRM, a lack of inclusion of well-established limitations and exceptions like library uses and fair use), there’s the fact that the agreement itself remains a closely guarded secret. The public is apparently not allowed to see even the opening positions their governments are making in negotiations.

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