Wednesday, August 1, 2012

TPP and Secrecy

Take a look at this article on TPP negotiations and the secrecy around the drafting of the agreement. The article is titled: "The Most Important Trade Agreement That We Know Nothing About" and is written by  David S. Levine. It is available here.

David states:

"Here’s what we think we know. Based upon the leaks that have occurred, it seems that an enacted TPP would require significant changes in U.S. and/or other signatory countries’ laws.  It would curb public access to vast amounts of information in the name of combating intellectual property infringement (or piracy, depending on your choice of words). The owner of the copyright in a song or movie could use a “technological protection measure”—what are often called “digital locks”—to prevent your access to it, even for educational purposes, and regardless of whether the owner had the legal right to do so. Your very ability to read this article, with hyperlinks in it, could be affected by TPP. So, too, might your access to works currently in the public domain and available free of charge. And these concerns are only related to the intellectual property rights chapter of TPP. There are apparently more than 20 chapters under negotiation, including “customs, cross-border services, telecommunications, government procurement, competition policy, and cooperation and capacity building,” as well as investment and financial services. Technically, TPP would only take effect in the 10 negotiating countries: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam. Mexico joined recently, and Canada and Japan may soon follow. But in reality, it would also affect citizens of any nations that interact with at least one of those 10—which means even the shut-off North Korea might feel its influence."

TechDirt reported in March this year that the Intellectual Property chapter of the agreement is also likely to introduce ISP liability and in effect censorship and surveillance.

Further Reading
TechDirt, TPP Talks Deadlocked; Still No Transparency (15 March 2012) < > at 22 March 2012

David S. Levine, The Most Important Trade Agreement That We Know Nothing About (30 July 2012) <  > at 1 August 2012

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