Kindle books and academic research = needless pain

I’ve probably purchased 300 books in the last year for research purposes, not to mention all the fiction my wife gets (and so do I, if it costs $3 or less).  For the newer ones , buying them as eBooks is generally an option. But the state of software, DRM, and copy protection for Kindle books is a mess. Kindle’s software (like iBooks) is deliberately crippled – no copying into another document, no printing, and especially no way to copy diagrams. I’m running Kindle’s software on my Mac and on an iPad, rather than using a Kindle tablet, but that barely helps.

Librarians against DRM

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Joe Stiglitz disses TPP treaty: it’s for corporations, not people

Joe Stiglitz critique of TPP Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty:

 Corporations on both sides of the Pacific have an interest at lowering regulatory standards—to protect the environment, to protect consumers, to protect workers, to protect health. But ordinary citizens, our society, will suffer. So you can get corporations on both sides pushing an agenda that will be increasing corporate profits at the cost of the well-being of people on both sides of the Pacific.

…Philip Morris is suing Uruguay under an investment agreement. It says, “This interferes with our basic right to sell products to kill people.” It’s like the Opium War 150 years ago, where the West went to war because China said, “We don’t want opium,” and we said, “That interferes with the basic right to trade.”

Web Special: Joseph Stiglitz on TPP, Cracking Down on Corporate Tax Dodgers & New BRICS Bank

More analysis of corporate capture of the TPP treaty,

 

 

The Capture of International Intellectual Property Law through the U.S. Trade Regime by Margot E. Kaminski :: SSRN

This paper finds that the IP law in recent U.S. free trade agreements differs subtly but significantly from U.S. IP law. These differences are not the result of deliberate government choices, but of private capture of the U.S. trade regime. 

US trade negotiations on IP have always seemed heavily biased to me. For a while, it appeared that the bias reflected Congressional bias in favor of  “strong IP.” The extreme example of that bias was Congress being taken completely by surprise – dumbfounded, even – by the outcry over  the SOPA and PIPA bills. To most of Congress, these bills were common sense. To much of America, they were horrible. See e.g. http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrydownes/2012/01/25/who-really-stopped-sopa-and-why/

But this paper seems to say that US trade negotiators on the TPP treaty are going beyond the US law.  The Capture of International Intellectual Property Law through the U.S. Trade Regime by Margot E. Kaminski :: SSRN.

Of course the big news on TPP negotiation is the leaked draft of the TPP treaty, leaked by Wikileaks.  Unfortunately this article is not updated with insights from that draft, but it contains a variety of detailed examples in existing treaties. Another quote:

 

The USTR’s paraphrasing changes domestic rules into international standards; codifies domestic judicial interpretations as international rules; and omits parts of domestic law that balance IP protection against other values. These distortions shift the cost of lawmaking so that the advising industries bear fewer costs in obtaining the kind of law they want in implementing countries.