WikiLeaks has published the complete draft of the very secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreements chapter on intellectual property rights. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation disects the document, it warns that "for those of us who care about free speech and a balanced intellectual property system that encourages innovation, creativity, and access to knowledge, its not a pretty picture."
The leaked text, from August 2013, confirms long-standing suspicions about the harm the agreement could do to users rights and a free and open Internet. From locking in excessive copyright term limits to further entrenching failed policies that give legal teeth to Digital Rights Management (DRM) tools, the TPP text weve seen today reflects a terrible but unsurprising truth: an agreement negotiated in near-total secrecy, including corporations but excluding the public, comes out as an anti-user wish list of industry-friendly policies.
Despite the Obama administrations top U.S. negotiators fast approaching their self-imposed 2013 deadline to complete the agreement, todays leak is the publics first look at the sprawling text since a February 2011 leak [pdf] of the same chapter and a July 2012 leak of an individual section. And even as the public has been completely shut out, the U.S. Trade Representative has lobbied for wider latitude to negotiate and for fast-track authority to bypass Congressional review.
The document Wikileaks has published contains nearly 100 pages of bracketed textmeaning it includes annotated sections that are proposed and opposed by the negotiating countries. The text is not final, but the story it tells so far is unmistakable: United States negotiators (with occasional help from others) repeatedly pushing for restrictive policies, and facing only limited opposition, coming from countries like Chile, Canada, New Zealand, and Malaysia.
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