The Trans-Pacific Partnership Explained In Under Five Minutes

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a curious beast. On the one hand, it's one of the biggest legal sledgehammers ever to rear it's cross-continental head, and it would bring some of the worst elements of US copyright law to Australian shores. On the other hand, not many people know about it. Here's how you can explain it to friends.

This quick video stars open source writer, copyright expert and journalist Glyn Moody, explaining what the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, really is.

From what we've already seen leaked by Wikileaks, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is bad news for Australia, as it would (among other things) make Australian ISPs liable for the copyright infringement of their users.

If you're not into watching a video this morning, try this. Here's how the Electronic Frontiers Foundation describes the controversial treaty:

The TPP is likely to export some of the worst features of US copyright law to Pacific Rim countries: a broad ban on breaking digital locks on devices and creative works (even for legal purposes), a minimum copyright term of the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years (the current international norm is the lifetime plus 50 years), privatisation of enforcement for copyright infringement, ruinous statutory damages with no proof of actual harm, and government seizures of computers and equipment involved in alleged infringement. Moreover, the TPP is worst than US copyright rules: it does not export the many balances and exceptions that favour the public interest and act as safety valves in limiting rightsholders’ protection. Adding insult to injury, the TPP's temporary copies provision will likely create chilling effects on how people and companies behave online and their basic ability to use and create on the Web.
The stated goal of the TPP is to unite the Pacific Rim countries by harmonising tariffs and trade rules between them, but in reality, it's much more than that. The "intellectual property" chapter in this massive trade agreement will likely force changes to copyright and patent rules in each of the signatory countries. Accepting these new rules will not just re-write national laws, but will also restrict the possibility for countries to introduce more balanced copyright laws in the future. This strategy may end up harming other countries' more proportionate laws such as Chile, where a judicial order is required for ISPs to be held liable for copyright infringement and take down content. Such systems better protect users and intermediaries from disproportionate or censorship-driven takedowns. If the final TPP text forces countries to adopt a privatize notice and takedown regime, this could imply the end of the Chilean system. It would also undermine Canada's notice-notice regime.

For more on what the TPP means for you, check out our further reading on the treaty.

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Comments

    good luck taking millions and millions of people to court... not going to be enforceable just like , well the Australian copyright laws, that every one of us break ever single day!

      if Australia signs the TPP they would have to enforce it. So everyone will be arrested, and sent to prison, once prison is full they would have to send us to a Penal colony maybe Australia.

      yeah bad joke...

    is there a petition or something we can sign to get rid of this?

      Find our who your local member of parliament is and write them a letter. Ensure you use your full name and address, are professional in its writing so you are taken seriously. They will write back to you.

        Election has just passed my local member won't give a stuff for another 3 years.

      I'll just upvote your comment to help this cause....
      or is there a sticker to buy or a Facebook page to Like instead?

      Last edited 18/11/13 1:42 pm

        I'm taking that your comment is firmly tongue in cheek.
        Sadly, many people will do just that, because they're lazy and can't be bothered fighting, and the TPP proponents are relying on that very same attitude to get their way.

      just need someone passionate about running a campaign against this on http://www.change.org and an effective way of getting lazy people like myself to sign the petition

      There's the Avaaz Petition that's got a million and a half signatures quickly (Currently 1,587,838)
      https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_the_corporate_death_star/

      And there's the Monsanto version, which has got a million and a half signatures too (1,587,838)
      https://secure.avaaz.org/en/no_champagne_for_monsanto_loc/

      As of 6:12 PM AEST 21/12/2013

      YES ! Vote for TRUMP. Hes the only one that will get rid of these globalist new world order trade deals like NAFTA and GATT

    What a great way to waste tax payer money to give unfair advantage to the American bullies!

    Arrr Me Harties... ☠ :)

      HOIST THA MAINSAIL ME HARTIES! Lets set sail for the bay of pirates!!!

        I read it.....looked puzzled and thought: is that some sort of Tolkin or Jaffar language?
        Theeeeeeen I realised - yee bee a land lubbin pirate yarrrrgh!

    The US copyright was Extended from 50 years to 70 a few years back for a simple reason....The Disney copyright was about to expire giving anyone in the world access to their original characters / stories etc. Unless Disney decided to pack up shop soon, the copyright law will continue to be extended.

    I wish people would touch more on what will happen with those corporations can patent animals. There was a major victory for breast cancer recently when a patent on a human gene was lifted so now people don't have to pay some corporation when trying to find a cure for cancer.

    They are going to undo all that and worse. Will be paying some corporation the right to raise livestock because some lawyer somewhere put in the patent for it.

    No mention of forcing ISP's to monitor their customers and report infringements.

    Call me paranoid, but it seems too convenient that after a flurry of "Look at Australia and all the naughty pirating they're doing" media coverage we've had of late, that this should come about.

    Y'know, it almost seems like an orchestrated media offensive to get the politicians (and the gullible public) onside to sign up on this.
    The legislation is unlikely to have been written in response (or even in time) to the piracy coverage, but it's not a stretch to consider the interested parties in enforcing this would conduct a media offensive to soften the way ahead for this to become legislation <--- read: laws written by Americans to be enforced upon Australians, by Australians.

    For a country that likes to brag about how they kicked the tyrannical British out of their country (conveniently forgetting about the vast quantity of arms, money and troops the French provided them), they certainly like enforcing their modern form of "taxation without representation" an awful lot..

      I bet Rupert Murdoch is a supporter of TPP and other things that benefits greedy companies, and the Australian Government needs to listen to the public.

      At the same time, the corporation influences in America and the world needs to be ended if the government goes back to the people. This means we need to tackle the root of the problem. It's like cutting the weed leaves, only for it to grow back. What we need to do to keep the soil clean is to pluck the roots out and remove the bad plants (politicians) so that our environment (Land aka Country) can be clean.

      The media needs to come clean too. The Journalists, the people under Rupert Murdock needs to quit and start their own business reporting honest information about things instead of listening to PR Officers.

      Fluoride/F is an S3/4 Poison that the health beaurocrats, state are forcing on everyone and if any councils go against Fluoride, the media will put the pictures of the councillors and say 'These are the people that will hurt children's teeth', which is what happened in the town of Lismore, NSW Australia.

      State, Media and Beaurocrats + ADA and other goons who support poisoning our democracy and health, and their evidence is poorly-written.

      I urge everyone to go through here and do research.
      http://fluorideinformationaustralia.wordpress.com/fia-report-archives/

    Any chance the author could call the ministers office and get some clarification on this please, or does every story written now just run on pure speculation? Is it that hard to find?

    Oops, here ya go. http://www.trademinister.gov.au

    Trade and Investment Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420

    Last edited 18/11/13 10:32 pm

    So what's in it for us? Why do we have to accept the TPP? Do we even have to accept it? The TPP seems to cause nothing but problems.

    Loggin in cause I'm a Yank....and I want to say this TPP monster will only benefit corporations and govt. entities in the US .....damn sure not the rest of us. We have already seen what a boondoggle NAFTA turned out to be. Mexicans working for slave wages, untold damage to the border town's eco systems, horrible working conditions. TPP is NAFTA on steroids - rest assured there are many of us that see through this scam. Our congress is trying to put this legislation on a "fast track" status that would get it passed before anyone knows what hit them. (You may have noticed governments have a knack for this sort of crap). We are on board to defeat this monster and hope we can get enough support in time to do that. Aussie friends, you are not alone!!

    Loggin in cause I'm a Yank....and I want to say this TPP monster will only benefit corporations and govt. entities in the US .....damn sure not the rest of us. We have already seen what a boondoggle NAFTA turned out to be. Mexicans working for slave wages, untold damage to the border town's eco systems, horrible working conditions. TPP is NAFTA on steroids - rest assured there are many of us that see through this scam. Our congress is trying to put this legislation on a "fast track" status that would get it passed before anyone knows what hit them. (You may have noticed governments have a knack for this sort of crap). We are on board to defeat this monster and hope we can get enough support in time to do that. Aussie friends, you are not alone!!

    Here is an excellent account of whats in store if this is accepted:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2013/11/15/five-key-questions-and-answers-about-the-leaked-tpp-text/

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