by Stephen Lendman
February 24, 2012
Stephen Lendman lives in
Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to
cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network
Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon.
All programs are archived for easy listening.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
calls the Trans-Pacific Partnership
"a secretive, multi-nation agreement that
threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property laws across the
It replicates its worst features. Nine nations
are negotiating it secretly, plus Japan, without formal status.
Though provisions aren't known, Article 1.1.3
The Parties seek to support the wider
liberalization process (read corporate control) in APEC (Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation) consistent with its goals of free and open (not
APEC includes 21 members.
Major Asian ones include,
Non-Asian ones include,
...negotiated an initial agreement.
On June 3, 2005, it was signed and took effect
on May 28, 2006. Six other countries joined negotiations. Ten previous
negotiating rounds occurred beginning from March 15-19, 2010. An 11th
is scheduled for March 1-9, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.
At issue is agreeing on unrestricted trade in,
rules of origin
sanitary and phytosanitary measures
government procurement and competition
intellectual property (IP)
"Don't Let TPP Become the New ACTA: Contact
Your Lawmakers and Demand Transparency" saying:
Like ACTA, TPP negotiations are secret,
"and on a fast timetable. We don't
know what's in the TPP IP chapter, and that's what worries us."
Entertainment industry executives are
involved. It's one of corporate America's most corrupt.
Intellectual property (IP) includes copyrights, trademarks, patents,
and related considerations. One-sided structuring for business harms
ordinary citizens' rights. In addition, at stake is,
"the future of the Internet's global
infrastructure and innovation across the world."
A leaked February TPP version showed US
negotiators pressuring for far more restrictive IP provisions than
ACTA and other international treaties. It stated:
This document must be protected from unauthorized disclosure....It
must be stored in a locked or secured building, room, or container.
Declassification would be authorized,
"four years from entry into
force....or, if no agreement enters into force, four years from
the close of the negotiations."
In other words, power brokers want secretive
provisions established with no public knowledge of their destructive harm.
TPP aims to rewrite global IP enforcement rules.
All signatory countries will have to change
domestic laws, regulations, and other policies to comply.
In America, controversial copyright laws will be further hardened. For
example, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's "broad ban on circumventing
digital locks and frequently disproportionate statutory damages for
Moreover, Congress will be prevented from reforming domestic law to assure
Internet freedom and innovative technology protections. Leaked TPP
provisions subvert US laws. As a result, significant issues are raised,
including free expression, privacy, and due process.
From what's known, TPP will require signatories
"Treat temporary reproductions of
copyrighted works without copyright holders' authorization as
copyright infringement." Earlier this was discussed and rejected.
"Ban parallel importation of genuine
goods acquired from other countries without the authorization of
Establish copyright provisions well
beyond current norms. For example, the US - Oman Free Trade
Agreement enforces rights 95 years after publication or 120 years
after creating corporate owned works.
"Adopt laws banning circumvention of
digital locks (technological protection measures -- TMPs) that
mirror the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and treat
violation of the TMP provisions as a separate offense, even when no
copyright infringement is involved."
As a result, signatories would have to rewrite or reverse existing
laws to comply. Enormous public interest harm would result. Business
would benefit at the expense of the greater good.
Impose copyright infringement criminal
"Adopt the US DMCA Internet
Intermediaries copyright safe harbor regime in its entirety." Again,
fundamental protections would end.
Overall, signatories would be forced to adopt
Sovereignty issues and consumer protections are
at stake, as well as the ability of governments to prioritize domestic
needs. Like ACTA, negotiations are secret behind closed doors. Transparency
demands by prominent civil society organizations were ignored.
If adopted, non-signatory countries will be affected, including all 21 APEC
Pressure will be applied globally to comply with
"a network of concerned unions, groups and
individuals formed to organize and support initiatives to oppose" TPP.
"Beware the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement," it highlights.
At issue is, "almost every area of policy you
can think of,” including,
Investor rights are prioritized at the expense popular ones.
foreign investors would be able to sue governments for hundreds of millions
of dollars for breaching their TPP rights. Corporations now rule the world.
Imagine doing it more than ever with an unchallengeable iron fist.
Incrementally, free societies are at risk.
Unless ACTA, TPP and similar measures are stopped, they're heading for the
dustbin of history practically everywhere.
If that's not worth fighting to
stop, what is?