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More free trade IP bullshit.
February 28, 2012 8:42 PM   Subscribe

Australia hosts secret trade agreement negotiations this week in Melbourne This Thursday, behind closed doors in Melbourne, representatives from nine countries will take up discussions once again on an ambitious, comprehensive trade agreement for the Asia-Pacific region. Negotiators from Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Vietnam, Malaysia, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore will pore over draft treaty text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, an agreement to cover all aspects of commercial relations between the countries, from competition and customs to e-commerce, rules of origin and labor, from textiles and apparel to telecommunications and intellectual property. The intellectual property chapter for the TPP will lay out lengthy, highly detailed, coverage of all aspects of IP enforcement and protection between the nine countries.
posted by wilful (11 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Secret? As one of the links in the first article says:

At the start of the TPP process it was agreed that such papers would be treated in confidence in order to facilitate candid and productive negotiations. This treatment is in line with normal negotiating practice.

And so it is, indeed. Why? Because if such negotiations were conducted on Live TV, coming to an agreement would become almost impossible as all such agreements involve a certain amount of flexibility in positions. Who is going to back down from their country's negotiating position in full public view? It would also probably result in a fair bit of market uncertainty and fluctuations.

That, and because such negotiations are tedious line-by-line, comma-by-comma negotiations in addition to the big picture stuff. The ratings would be terrible, even for A-PAC.
posted by vidur at 9:35 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is a difference between the confidentiality needed for not losing face during negotiating, and the con game used in negotiating these copyright treaties, like ACTA. TPP was always intended as the backup covering anything so evil that the Europeans balked.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:24 PM on February 28, 2012


There is a difference between the confidentiality needed for not losing face during negotiating, and the con game used in negotiating these copyright treaties, like ACTA. TPP was always intended as the backup covering anything so evil that the Europeans balked.

I don't know much about TPP in particular. I'm just saying that the secrecy bit is fairly standard practice. The final outcome will be there for everyone to see. In general, countries require their legislatures to accept international agreements before they come into force. Perhaps that would be a good time have a hard look at the actual terms, rather than wonder about the secrecy?
posted by vidur at 10:35 PM on February 28, 2012


There is a list of "USTR proposals for the TPP intellectual property chapter" at wikipedia :

- Include a number of features that would lock-in as a global norm many controversial features of U.S. law, such as [effectively] endless copyright terms.

- Create new global norms that are contrary to U.S. legal traditions, such as those proposed to damages for infringement, the enforcement of patents against surgeons and other medical professional, rules concerning patents on biologic medicines etc.

- Undermine many proposed reforms of the patent and copyright system, such as proposed legislation to increase access to orphaned copyrighted works by limiting damages for infringement, or statutory exclusions of "non-industrial" patents such as those issued for business methods.

- Requires criminal enforcement for technological measures beyond WIPO Internet Treaties, even when there is not copyright infringement, impose a legal regime of ISP liability beyond the DMCA standards.

- Requires legal incentives for service providers to cooperate with copyright owners in deterring the unauthorized storage and transmission of copyrighted materials.

- Requires identifying internet users for any ISP, going beyond U.S. case law, includes the text of the controversial US/KOREA side letter on shutting down web sites.

- Requires adopting compensation for infringement without actual damages.

- For copyright and trademark, criminal punishment would apply even to non-for-profit infringement.


In particular, you'll notice the USTR doesn't plan on trying their sleazy "the senate doesn't need to ratify this treaty because U.S. law already complies" ACTA stunt with TPP, i.e. TPP is way too crazy.

There is a flyer for TPP protests in Melbourne on 1, 5, and 8 March with a facebook event.

I only found a few photos photos from the TPP protest at the meeting in L.A. on 1 Feb.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:08 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


The final outcome will be there for everyone to see. In general, countries require their legislatures to accept international agreements before they come into force.

From jeffburdges link to an earlier MeFi story:

In the U.S. there has been debate over the constitutionality of President Obama's plan to bypass Senate ratification by declaring the treaty an executive agreement.

Also, evidence of US meddling in Polish ACTA voting.

Perhaps that would be a good time have a hard look at the actual terms, rather than wonder about the secrecy?

And if that time never comes, as the above is showing is increasingly happening?

Speaking of secrecy, the EU ACTA chief resigned over the lack of transparency and exclusion of civil society organizations in the ACTA negotiations.

This isn't just pirates pushing for free movies. Increased IP regulations are going to benefit US corporations and interests. Whether it's Monsanto and international lawsuits about GMO crops, or Hollywood and mandates about trusted computing in all your computing devices (don't worry, we'll keep an extra key for you under our door mat at the NSA), the US will benefit the most.
posted by formless at 11:13 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


You'll observe the USTR's desire that "criminal punishment apply even to non-for-profit infringement of copyright and trademark" looks aimed squarely at censoring protests against corporations.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:31 PM on February 28, 2012


So why exactly is the USA at all involved in this given its a treaty signed by countries in the Asia Pacific region?

When is the USA just going to fuck off and stop interfering in other countries activities that they have no right or even business getting involved in.

I wish Australia would just toughen-up some time and tell the USA to piss off and stop meddling in our affairs.
posted by mary8nne at 1:45 AM on February 29, 2012


It is funny that the last gasp of empire from the USA seems to be all about IP laws. It seems such a silly thing to expend some much effort and goodwill to achieve, when in a decade or so the idea of paying tribute to a 70yro mouse will be amusing and irrelevant to all of us in the Greater Chinese economic zone.
When did the real world bleed into a Neal Stephenson novel?
posted by bystander at 2:41 AM on February 29, 2012


So why exactly is the USA at all involved in this given its a treaty signed by countries in the Asia Pacific region?

You might want to invest in a quality atlas. Or maybe a dictionary. "Trans-Pacific" means "cross-Pacific." Try having a look at what countries border the Pacific Ocean. I won't spoil the surprise.
posted by yoink at 9:43 AM on February 29, 2012


Canada appears to be conspicuously absent...
posted by defcom1 at 2:43 PM on February 29, 2012


Canada : SOPA-style Amendments Dropped From C-11; DRM Provisions Not
posted by jeffburdges at 2:40 AM on March 15, 2012


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