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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(Not in the US? Go here.)

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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@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, 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.

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.

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.

This is a massive pile of bullcrap.

That you don't care to follow the development in the TPP tells me that you are reading tabloids. Trade policy is boring, thus few headlines, but powerful, thus conspiracy theories. It's hardly done in secret, good newspapers report on it steadily. 

That the US is pushing stricter IP laws, and especially enforcement, is hardly surprising. If you were really against IP rights you would make T|A wholly publicly run, at least make everybody here a moderator. That's not to say that the US IP laws are products of reason, but then again, what US made anything is?

Fast tracking a deal which is expected to grow total US GDP by 1-3% every year from interventionist congressmen is hardly surprising. It's easy to point out who the losers will be, the winners are yet to be decided. 

Though your nationalist propaganda is cute and all, it's still nationalism and propaganda. And that's just not pretty.

 

Of course negotiations are secret, diplomacy is almost always done such. That's hardly a surprise and hardly a reason for conspiracy theories. International negotiations are difficult and secrecy is essential such that positions, strategies and stratagems are not divulged. However, there's always a running update on points of contention and agreements. There's lots written about the TPP in quality media, such as The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and National Interest. And lest I forget, in scholarly journals. By comparison, how many articles have you read about the secret Sino-Indian negotiations..?

The OP links to an extremely one-sided poster on IP, yet hardly relinquishes the IP for his own site. That's hubris. And while I do find many of the current IP laws onerous and out of date, they certainly are not just pushed by "evil corporations" and IP laws are required for a smoothly functioning economy. It's hardly surprising that the US wants stronger IP protection as this is completely disregarded in most of SE Asia and China, which makes the US economy lose billions every year and thereby robbing the US government of much required tax income.

The TPP is eagerly awaited by many countries. The Doha round of the WTO negotiations broke down many years ago, and the world in general needs more free trade, especially the struggling economies of the west.  

I won't go into your quasi-conspiratorial rant about corporations, suffice to say that neither the EU nor the NAFTA has been the death knell to any kind of rights. 

That's the thing about conspiracy theories and propaganda, it's a massive undertaking to disprove and just not worth the time and effort. And how would I go about disproving a value statement such as "The TPP is one of the worst global threats to the Internet since ACTA" in any event? 

This is a massive pile of bullcrap.

Thanks for the warning, Arcus. I did find your post to be exactly that.

LOL.  Oh, the hazards of vague referent pronouns!

I think I was the first one here to say "perpetual" wrt copyright, and I did not mean it literally. It just seems awfully long to me.

what is this planet comming to ? i dont like it when large majority of people are pushed about and bullied like this by the whims and wants of a small greedy fat(financially) minority

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