[R] R project and the TPP

John Logsdon j.logsdon at quantex-research.com
Fri Feb 5 11:25:18 CET 2016


TPP, and in a European context, TTIP are very dangerous not only to open
source software but to any public service and no satisfactory response has
been forthcoming.

There are ways of circumventing it I guess or opposing it (maybe using
ISPs in China, Russia or North Korea???).  The issue really should be
reversed - how muchy open source coding has found its way into closed
source software?  We do not know because proprietory coding is secret, and
hence insecure.  Perhaps a court could rule that all software should be
available for inspection by independent experts.  This possibility may be
sufficient to shut TI etc up.

But this seems to have been put together in total secrecy and undermines
pretty nearly every 'freedom' people have fought for since at least King
John and probably others (not that English peasants enjoyed too much
freedom after 1215 as it was the barons who got it all!)

I really do not understand why legislators have done this unless
corruption has become so pervasive that there are no longer any good guys
and girls around (well, maybe Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn excepted
but their chance of power is pretty slim at the moment despite Iowa).

In the UK we have a referendum on EU membership which under ordinary
circumstances I would automatically support as very much a pro-Europe
person.  But if TTIP is implemented, I don't know which way to vote.  Of
course it is a total sham anyway, so maybe a bloody nose for the
legislators would not be a bad idea.  And looking at the way the EU has
treated Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal, I don't hold out much hope for
an epiphany.

Anyway this is a bit OT. :)

> On 2/4/2016 6:59 PM, David Winsemius wrote:
>>> On Feb 4, 2016, at 3:15 PM, Rolf Turner <r.turner at auckland.ac.nz>
>>> wrote:
>>> Quite a while ago I went to talk (I think it may have been at an NZSA
>>> conference) given by the great Ross Ihaka.  I forget the details but my
>>> vague recollection was that it involved a technique for automatic
>>> choice of some sort of smoothing parameter involved in a graphical
>>> display.
>> Identifying discontinuities:
>> https://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~ihaka/downloads/Curves.pdf
>> http://www.google.com/patents/US6704013
>> TI can now own analytic geometry if they file enough patents.
>        And TI could therefore under TPP demand that any Internet Service
> Provider remove any R content (or R generated content) that they claimed
> (correctly or otherwise) infringed on their intellectual property,
> without a court order, and with common citizens having only slightly
> more ability to seek redress than the British peasants had when their
> nobility got King John of England to sign the Magna Carta on 15 June 1215?
>        And, of course, this is only one concrete example.
>        More relevant, TPP might prohibit any government from promoting
> the use of open-source software, because it could deprive a for-profit
> company of income, and they could therefore sue for lost profit under
> the Investor-State Dispute Settlement Settlement (ISDS) provisions of
> the TPP or other "free trade" agreements like NAFTA.  This is hardly far
> fetched:  Last Dec. 21, the U.S. Congress decided that consumers in the
> U.S. did not have the right to know the origins of the meat they buy
> under NAFTA (Scott Smith, "Congress repeals country of origin labeling
> for meat", United Press International, Dec. 21, 2015 at 10:12 AM,
> http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2015/12/21/Congress-repeals-country-of-origin-labeling-for-meat/3241450709277/).
>        Spencer Graves
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Best wishes


John Logsdon
Quantex Research Ltd
+44 161 445 4951/+44 7717758675

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