Items tagged "TPP"

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TPP Tranparency Problems Keep Getting Worse

April 10, 2012 ACTA , TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiation shuts out public participation and we have written extensively about why that is a problem. The agency leading the negotiation, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), however, seems completely oblivious to these problems, arguing instead that it has given opportunities to all stakeholders to present their views. The mere opportunity to present our views to the USTR, without more, does not cure problems with TPP’s process. However, it provides us with a minuscule opportunity to influence its outcome.

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Options for Public Participation in the TPP

April 6, 2012 ACTA , TPP , Transparency

The Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations are being conducted in extreme secrecy and that is a problem. In this post, I suggest some options that would end the secrecy and allow members of the public or their representatives to participate in the TPP negotiation process.

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USTR Still Missing the Point

March 8, 2012 International , SOPA , TPP , Transparency , USTR

Yesterday, I attended the Senate Finance Committee Hearing on the President’s 2012 Trade Agenda. United States Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk was the sole witness and testified on behalf of the Administration. The hearing was an opportunity for UTSR to soothe public concerns and address the recent scrutiny it’s received for the secretive negotiation process surrounding TPP negotiations. Instead the USTR failed to seriously address the lack of public input within negotiations.  

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Shhhh. The TPP is Secret.

February 21, 2012 TPP , Transparency

In my previous post on the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), I explained how provisions of TPP might harm you. Of course, it’s hard to know exactly what might be bad within secret agreements like the TPP–all we have to go off of is leaked text that is many months old. But this raises another point: the secrecy itself is bad, not just because it makes it hard to comment on what may or may not be in the text, but because it undermines the democratic process. Secrecy might make sense for nuclear disarmament talks but it’s hard to see why agreements like the TPP–which amount to international treaties that set levels of intellectual property protection around the world–deserve such hush-hush treatment.

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What’s Actually in the TPP?

February 7, 2012 International , Three Strikes , TPP

The blogosphere is abuzz with speculation that the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is much worse than SOPA. Is this true? Since the text is currently top secret, there is no way to tell.  Of course, that’s part of the problem. But, after tracking international intellectual property (IP) issues here a PK for a number of years, I can try to make an educated guess about what may be in TPP’s IP chapter and how it may affect you.

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The TPP: Closed-Door Negotiations, Worse than ACTA, Lessons from SOPA/PIPA

January 30, 2012 ACTA , International , SOPA , Special 301 , TPP

This week trade negotiators from 8 countries (including the United States) are meeting in LA behind closed doors to discuss the intellectual property chapter of a new international trade agreement.

The recent outpouring of opposition to SOPA/PIPA was an indication of citizens’ outrage, not only at the actual bills, but also at the fact that Congress could be so blind to the public interest in order to please the content industry. While SOPA/PIPA are unprecedented incursions into the Internet architecture, the mindset that caused these bills to go as far as they did, has been at play for a very long time: ratcheting up protections for IP rights holders with little regard for preserving balance in IP laws or due process rights of citizens. 

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What the State of the Union “Piracy” Reference Means

January 25, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , International , SOPA , TPP

It doesn’t take much to excite the Twitterverse. President Obama in his State of the Union speech made a passing reference to intellectual property enforcement, perhaps to try to appease the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).  It was relatively benign, as he said only that foreign piracy hurts trade, but my reader exploded with “Obama’s flipping on PIPA/SOPA! Betrayal!” While I have no reason to believe that the Administration is backing away from its current hard-line position against PIPA/SOPA, it doesn’t have to in order to show MPAA some love.

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Was the TPP Stakeholder’s Forum Just Lip-Service?

September 13, 2011 ACTA , TPP

Trade agreements have often been used to secure intellectual property (IP) provisions that are harmful to ordinary citizens. The secrecy that generally surrounds trade agreements makes them the ideal vehicle to secure such provisions. These agreements are used to usher in international obligations that would require countries around the world to protect copyrights for longer, prosecute infringements with longer prison terms and higher fines, and generally subject more uses of works to the control of copyright owners. We have written extensively about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which was called a trade agreement and concluded in great secrecy. The Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) seems to be the sequel to ACTA, but with different participating countries.

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A Trade Agreement For The 21st Century

March 22, 2011 ACTA , DMCA , Enforcement , Limitations & Exceptions , TPP

Today, Public Knowledge, the Special Libraries Association and Internet NZ told the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that an IP chapter in a truly “21st century trade agreement” should reflect the rights and interests of the wide variety of stakeholders affected by copyright. To demonstrate how this can be done, we submitted to the USTR our own discussion draft of a copyright chapter to be included in the proposed Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and a letter explaining the draft. In contrast to the U.S. proposed draft, recently leaked on the Internet, we believe that this draft represents a middle-ground position that begins closer to a position that respects the interests of the many different stakeholders that will be affected.

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Proposed New Copyright Treaty Asks For Tougher Terms Than ACTA

March 11, 2011 Enforcement , International , Special 301 , TPP , USTR

Yesterday, a draft of the U.S. proposal for an intellectual property (IP) chapter of the transpacific partnership agreement (TPPA) leaked on the Internet. The U.S. proposal calls for IP protections and enforcement obligations more extensive than those called for in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) or the most recent U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) – the Korea U.S. (KORUS) FTA.

Here are the highlights of the U.S. proposal:

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