Secret Copyright Treaty Wants To Make ISPs Liable For Piracy

The dust has barely settled on the AFACT vs iiNet court case, but it seems it's never too early to hold secret meetings about changing copyright law to be friendlier to the entertainment industry. John Hilvert at ITNews has uncovered that the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement is trying to offer extensive new powers for IP rights holders.

The Trans Pacific Partnership, which includes the US, Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Peru, Malaysia and Vietnam, was established with the goal to abolish trade tariffs between the member countries by 2015. But it seems that's not all they're doing...

According to ITNews, during their most recent negotiations in Santiago in Chile, the negotiations moved to the protection of intellectual property rights. Some of the measures proposed apparently included:

• A new legal regime of ISP liability • ISPs to identify internet users • Established damages for the rights holder • Criminal enforcement for technological measures beyond WIPO internet treaties, even when there is not copyright infringement • Outlawing parallel trade in any copyrighted good • 95-year copyright minimum term for works for hire

This agreement, should it be signed and passed into law, would overrule any industry code put in place, such as the planned code from the IIA. Given everything iiNet just went through in their court case with AFACT, an international treaty that moves the goal posts from behind closed (and locked) doors is obviously going to benefit one side of the argument much more than the other.

Here's hoping that the government can see fit to let the industry regulate itself and not change the law to benefit massive multinational corporations at the expense of local ISPs and their customers.

[ITNews]