What Is TPP? Biggest Global Threat to the Internet Since ACTA

Below is our infographic highlighting the most problematic aspects of TPP. Please spread the word about how this agreement will impact you and your country. Right-click and save the image for the PNG file, or you can download the PDF version below. Remix it, build upon it, and get the word out. Let's protect and defend the Internet from this secret trade deal.

The United States and ten governments from around the Pacific are meeting yet again to hash out the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) on May 15-24 in Lima, Peru. The TPP is one of the worst global threats to the Internet since ACTA. Since the negotiations have been secretive from the beginning, we mainly know what's in the current version of this trade agreement because of a leaked draft [PDF] from February 2011. Based upon that text, some other leaked notes, and the undemocratic nature of the entire process, we have every reason to be alarmed about the copyright enforcement provisions contained in this multinational trade deal.

The TPP is likely to export some of the worst features of U.S. copyright law to Pacific Rim countries: a broad ban on breaking digital locks on devices and creative works (even for legal purposes), a minimum copyright term of the lifetime of the creator plus seventy years (the current international norm is the lifetime plus fifty years), privatization of enforcement for copyright infringement, ruinous statutory damages with no proof of actual harm, and government seizures of computers and equipment involved in alleged infringement. Moreover, the TPP is worse than U.S. copyright rules: it does not export the many balances and exceptions that favor the public interest and act as safety valves in limiting rightsholders’ protection. Adding insult to injury, the TPP's temporary copies provision will likely create chilling effects on how people and companies behave online and their basic ability to use and create on the Web.

The stated goal of the TPP is to unite the Pacific Rim countries by harmonizing tariffs and trade rules between them, but in reality, it's much more than that. The "intellectual property" chapter in this massive trade agreement will likely force changes to copyright and patent rules in each of the signatory countries. Accepting these new rules will not just re-write national laws, but will also restrict the possibility for countries to introduce more balanced copyright laws in the future. This strategy may end up harming other countries' more proportionate laws such as Chile, where a judicial order is required for ISPs to be held liable for copyright infringement and take down content. Such systems better protect users and intermediaries from disproportionate or censorship-driven takedowns. If the final TPP text forces countries to adopt a privatized notice and takedown regime, this could imply the end of the Chilean system. It would also undermine canada's notice and notice regime.

The content industry can and will continue to buy and lie to get their way to get laws that protects their interests, and what they want more than anything is for us to remain passively ignorant. They did it with SOPA, ACTA, and now it's TPP [ESP]. It's going to be a challenge to defeat these policies, but we can do it. The TPP is slated for conclusion this October, but our goal is to get the worst of these copyright provisions out of it. The way to fight back is to show that we will not put up with this: to demand an open transparent process that allows everyone, including experts from civil society members, to analyze, question, and probe any initiatives to regulate the Internet. The secrecy must be stopped once and for all.

Take this action and join over 26,000 people to send a message to your elected representatives. Let's call on Congress to demand for the immediate release of the text of the TPP, and make this process become democratic and transparent once and for all.

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Below is our infographic highlighting the most problematic aspects of TPP. Please spread the word about how this agreement will impact you and your country. Right-click and save the image for the PNG file, or you can download the PDF version below. Remix it, build upon it, and get the word out. Let's protect and defend the Internet from this secret trade deal.

Reproduced with kind permission from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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Unseen, both WRONG and deceptive!!!!

Copyright establishes control over MORE THAN making copies; it establishes control over the manner of expression of ideas. The word EXPRESSION is key.

As to your heirs, have you actually created a work that can make them lifelong couch potatoes, or are you running off at the keyboard?

You are indeed using dumb logic. You're also DEMAGOGUING; neither your house NOR ITS DESIGN will become public property.

Here's a very amusing and informative look at copyright law from the point of view of someone who is just trying to put together a short documentary.  It's put together by the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain.

http://www.thepublicdomain.org/comic/

I tried to upload the comic directly but it's just a bit too large.

I might want my kids to profit from my work with the help of copyright. But extending ownership of intellectual property beyond a generation (or two) will not impede the vast majority of people from creating significant works. By far, the largest profiteers of long-term copyright are large corporations, not the original creators.

There's a point where long-term rights discourages creativity. How can people create new works and expect to be paid for them when their potential market is perpetually run or flooded by big corporations? Independent artists are locked out of making profit, unless they are lucky enough or already large enough to affiliate with a corporation. TPP would bump up the profitability of largess to international levels, keeping little guys down.

The rationale for terminating copyright throws the small artist under the bus in order to punish large corporations. We need a better system that makes some rational distinctions.

Here's something to think about: Some creations, such as drugs or technical inventions owned by corporations are almost always superseded by drugs or inventions of competing companies. In some cases, the world would benefit from their copyright running out so that new products can be based on those drugs and inventions.

It's hard to apply the same sort of logic to an artist's work product. We expect artists to be original and not to, for example, revise Harry Potter to make it "better." And if someone did want to do that, why shouldn't they have to get permission from J.K. Rowling? What's the big deal?

The rationale for terminating copyright throws the small artist under the bus in order to punish large corporations. [...] We expect artists to be original and not to, for example, revise Harry Potter to make it "better." And if someone did want to do that, why shouldn't they have to get permission from J.K. Rowling?

Unseen, whatever you are arguing against, it is not TPP. Where in the OP does it say anything about terminating copyright or letting people re-write Harry Potter?

Say you buy a DVD and a DVD player. You own them, right? They're yours to do with as you please, right? Wrong. TTP makes it illegal to tamper with the digital locks that control the content playback. Out of curiosity's sake, or for any sake, even to rip a 15-second clip to put your own movie review on YouTube (which is legal).

Concerned the FBI might kick in your door if you do? They might. But the MPAA gets the opening move instead. Yes, you read that right. The TTP would privatize enforcement of copyright infringement. You don't even get a trial first. They simply accuse you of infringement, you get a huge bill, and Uncle Sam shows up at your house to seize your computers. That doesn't even get into the impact it would have on corporations involved in the alleged infringement (such as YouTube).

@Gallups Mirror So it's not a matter of perception where I think it's a non-starter as a legal issue. As a practical reality it IS a non-starter.

Maybe so, but it's still an interesting topic.

My 'why' question for you remains. Why would you WANT to create perpetual copyright?

Jules Verne wrote 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' and '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' in the mid-to-late-1800s. How do you figure his great-great-great-great grandchildren are entitled to benefit from their ancestor's talent and hard work? This would effectively eliminate the novel from the public domain in favor of establishing a copyright dynasty for novels that lasts forever.

By the same logic, why don't we just have inheritance laws that take everything when someone dies? If I create enough wealth to build a big house on the Hudson River, why should my great-grandchildren be able to live in it when it could be appropriated by the government and opened up to homeless people? I think most of us would find that distateful and overreaching by the government.

I don't know, but if there's a nonstarter here, it would have to be ending the ability to pass real property along to one's heirs and they to theirs.

Perhaps what's needed is a modified law in which after a period of time the copyright holder can no longer restrain others from using the work but can continue to profit from selling it. That way the artist is still passing his work and its benefits along to his heirs and the public gets to use copies of the work.

If I create enough wealth to build a big house on the Hudson River, why should my great-grandchildren be able to live in it when it could be appropriated by the government and opened up to homeless people? I think most of us would find that distateful and overreaching by the government.

The analogy doesn't really work for this example Unseen. Copyrights and patents are not physical property. They are rights that prevent others from duplicating or building on the work of others for a limited duration, not from seizing it.

But your analogy would be closer if it went like this: Your great-great grandfather built a house on the Hudson. Thousands of others say wow great idea, let's build houses on the Hudson too. Your family waves a perpetual copyright at them down through the generations and says you CAN'T build on the Hudson river. Not forever and ever! It'll spoil my view! My property value will dive! It'll go from being the ONLY house to being one of a zillion houses on the Hudson! Think of my grandfather's hard work losing value like that!

But all of this is academic.

The Electronic Frontiers Foundation wants to stop TPP because it runs roughshod on civil liberties. They do NOT want to end intellectual property rights, despite the absurd statements to the contrary posted elsewhere in this thread.

If I create enough wealth to build a big house on the Hudson River, why should my great-grandchildren be able to live in it when it could be appropriated by the government and opened up to homeless people? I think most of us would find that distateful and overreaching by the government.

The analogy doesn't really work for this example Unseen. Copyrights and patents are not physical property. They are rights that prevent others from duplicating or building on the work of others, not from seizing it.

Now you are totally mischaracterizing what copyrights and patents do. They don't prevent others from duplicating or buiding on my work, they prevent others from doing so without my permission. Is seeking permission such a bad thing, or is it simply good manners? I might go along with changing the law so that at some point I can't deny permission, but that they do need to pay a reasonable amount for doing so.

But your analogy would be closer if it went like this: Your great-great grandfather built a house on the Hudson. Thousands of others say wow great idea, let's build houses on the Hudson too. Your family waves a perpetual copyright at them down through the generations and says you CAN'T build on the Hudson river. Not forever and ever! It'll spoil my view! My property value will dive! It'll go from being the ONLY house to being one of a zillion houses on the Hudson! Think of my grandfather's hard work losing value like that!

Under no circumstances could anyone copyright or patent "a house on the Hudson," but I could protect the architectural design of my house. I understand this is possible now, but like a poem or song, the copyright only lasts so long. As I just said, I could live with a termination of my right to prevent people copying as long as I could continue to profit from my handiwork.

Now you are totally mischaracterizing what copyrights and patents do. Under no circumstances could anyone copyright or patent "a house on the Hudson,"...

That is why an analogy comparing copyrights and patents with building houses on rivers doesn't work-- and it was your analogy Unseen, mischaracterizations and all, not mine-- which is why I said as much from the get-go.

They don't prevent others from duplicating or buiding on my work, they prevent others from doing so without my permission.

*Laughing*

Gallup: Laws against theft prevent others from taking away your stuff.
Unseen: They don't prevent others from taking away my stuff, they prevent others from doing so WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.

Thanks for the clarification.

By the way Unseen, from that 'splitting hairs' perspective above, you're also wrong: others don't always need your permission to duplicate or build on your work, copyrighted or not.

Perhaps you don't know what an analogy is. I wasn't making an analogy, l was making a comparison. Why is one treated one way and the other a different way.

I'm quite aware of and quite quite comfortable with "fair use" when it comes to artwork. But there is little application of fair use when it comes to controlling scientific and technical inventions. 

Fair use would allow students, for example, to study and write about and use quotes from my book without having to pay for the right to do so. There is no parallel when it comes to a drug or a scientific advance, though, which is why it DOES make sense for those inventors to lose their control after some time. There is a good reason for taking that control away but no such reasoning for an artist losing control over his work's destiny.

Perhaps you don't know what an analogy is.

*Laughing* You definitely don't.

analogy
1. a similarity between like features of two things on which a comparison may be based: the analogy between the heart and a pump.
2. similarity or comparability: I see no analogy between your problem and mine.

I wasn't making an analogy, l was making a comparison.

A distinction rather like 'no copying my stuff' versus 'no copying my stuff WITHOUT MY PERMISSION', huh?

*Laughing*

Your analogy was between intellectual property (a Jules Verne novel) and physical property (a house on the Hudson) where the similarity was the death of the owner.

In fact, according to you, they were similar enough for the SAME LOGIC to apply to both: a novel entering the public domain after the death of the author was SO like the government seizing a house after the death of the owner, we might just as well have laws to the latter effect.

Gallup: "Jules Verne wrote 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' and '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' in the mid-to-late-1800s. [...] [Why remove novels from the public domain] in favor of establishing a copyright dynasty for novels that lasts forever."

Unseen: "By the same logic, why don't we just have inheritance laws that take everything when someone dies? If I create enough wealth to build a big house on the Hudson River,[...]"

There is a good reason for taking that control away but no such reasoning for an artist losing control over his work's destiny.

I had mentioned earlier that a permanent copyright is a legal non-starter in that it does not exist anywhere and is not even on the negotiating table at TTP.

I also made this comment earlier, which you still haven't substantially responded to: "[Permanent copyright] is your concept and it would turn centuries of copyright law on its head, so kindly refrain from asking why [permanent copyright] SHOULDN'T be done and start explaining why it SHOULD be done."

Besides presenting no case for unlimited copyright, you claim no reasoning supports limited copyright (which is the law the world over) and you present no case for that either.

And thus will begin more comedic, argumentative quibbles over language, terminology, what was said, and how it was said. ("I did SO present my case for unlimited copyright!")

None of it matters. Permanent copyright has nothing to do with TPP, you never had a case (or you would have made it), and I was never very interested in 'copyright forever' because it's going nowhere beyond your fantasy. Tie a bow around it because this wraps up my end of our conversation on this subject.

An analogy may be a comparison, but not all comparisons are analogies.

I don't care if the kind of change to copyright I propose is on the table or not, nor if it would drastically change the notion of copyright. 

I'm asking if such a change wouldn't be a good thing, and so far you haven't explained why allowing an artist to own and pass on as a piece of property his creative works (just as he could a house he built) would be a bad thing.

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