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Trading Freedom: The threat of international trade agreements like TPP, TTIP, and TISA

The Free Software Foundation has campaigned for years against the dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an international trade agreement with grave consequences for software freedom. This agreement, negotiated in complete secrecy, threatens to lock its member countries into a potential future of spreading software patents, perpetual copyright restriction, and legal penalties for the circumvention of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). While TPP secretly trundles along, other similarly terrible agreements loom on the horizon, threatening to ensnare most of the world in a web of restrictions. While trade agreements in the past have always presented issues, the threat to software freedom hidden in these hidden talks is an entirely new phenomena. Restrictions implemented in such treaties could be enforced for decades to come, and with little public input, the agreements that will eventually come out of these negotiations invariably will be anti-user.

This talk will begin with a primer on the process and general procedure for these types of agreements, focusing on how ordinary users and citizens (and even elected officials) are left out in favour of lobbyists and corporations. It will then delve in to the particular dangers that each agreement presents. While there is overlap between each, the restrictions hidden within the secret negotiations are each implemented in a slightly different fashion. Finally, the talk will cover what we at the FSF have been doing to campaign against these international agreements, and what the audience can do to join in this fight.

Speaker Bio:

Donald Robertson, III, J.D. is the Copyright and Licensing Associate for the Free Software Foundation. He has worked for the FSF for over seven years in the FSF’s Licensing & Compliance Lab, and has been involved in free software for over fifteen years. https://www.fsf.org/about/staff-and-board

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Presenters

Donald R. Robertson

Donald R. Robertson, Free Software Foundation

Donald Robertson, III, J.D. is the Copyright and Licensing Associate for the Free Software Foundation. He has worked for the FSF for over seven years in the FSF’s Licensing & Compliance Lab, and has been involved in free software for over fifteen years. https://www.fsf.org/about/staff-and-board