TPP: The Biggest Global Threat To The Internet Since ACTA

The United States and 10 governments from around the Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, are meeting yet again to hash out the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) on May 15-24 in Lima, Peru. The TPP is one of the worst global threats to the internet since ACTA.

Since the negotiations have been secretive from the beginning, we mainly know what's in the current version of this trade agreement because of a leaked draft [PDF] from February 2011. Based upon that text, some other leaked notes, and the undemocratic nature of the entire process, we have every reason to be alarmed about the copyright enforcement provisions contained in this multinational trade deal.

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 harmonizing 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.

The content industry can and will continue to buy and lie to get their way to get laws that protects their interests, and what they want more than anything is for us to remain passively ignorant. They did it with SOPA, ACTA, and now it's TPP [ESP]. It's going to be a challenge to defeat these policies, but we can do it. The TPP is slated for conclusion this October, but our goal is to get the worst of these copyright provisions out of it. The way to fight back is to show that we will not put up with this: to demand an open transparent process that allows everyone, including experts from civil society members, to analyse, question, and probe any initiatives to regulate the internet. The secrecy must be stopped once and for all.

Take action!

Below is our infographic highlighting the most problematic aspects of TPP. Please spread the word about how this agreement will impact you and your country. Right-click and save the image for the PNG file, or you can download the PDF version below. Remix it, build upon it, and get the word out. Let's protect and defend the internet from this secret trade deal.

Reproduced with kind permission from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.



    When the hell are they going to just quit it? They've tried twice now and failed. Third time is not going to make them lucky in this case when you have millions and millions of internet users against what you're trying to do.

      .. It might do if they just don't care and do whatever they want, which is clearly what they're trying to do..

      I think the plan this time is to organize it all in secret so that the public doesn't know whats going on.

      And they may have gotten away with it too, if it wasnt for those pesky EFF kids ;)

      I posted this on Kevin Rudd's Facebook page for shits and giggles. They blocked me within 2 hours.

    ah, but that's the thing about this one. From the look of it, It's not up for vote. they failed twice, so this time their just going to push it thru, without asking people what they thing of it

    Scare tactic -- this is NOT sopa/acta like. sopa was about screwing around with the internals of DNS. this is about policies and enforcement. There is a difference (albeit its still a stupid policy)

      Don't decry something as a 'scare tactic' when you freely admit that it's a stupid policy, and don't contest that it's going to be incredibly harmful. I argue that it does have SOPA-like provisions: See all that domain seisure stuff?

        Oh, its a stupid policy, but its about trademarks, not intentionally breaking large portions of the DNS and routing infrastructure of the web.

        That's a lot more than just 'domain seizure', its more 'domain f*ck you'

    This time they are doing it in a way that no country would want to say no to it. They are tying it up with a free trade agreement, so its accept these changes and get access to a free trade region of 800 million citizens, or miss out.

    Where the Fuck do I sign up to oppose this shit!! This is one of those occasions where hacker activists would be very handy. Set 'em loose on these morons.
    In the mean while the NBN is actively placing cables around my neighbourhood and when I get hooked up I intend to have "" running 100% of the time!

    So what this all boils down to is that governments are trying to level the playing field so that any copyright owner whose rights are illegally infringed can do something about it? You know, the same way anyone whose physical property is stolen or whose personal freedom is infringed upon can have something done about it. How is this a any kind of threat to the internet?

      Actually, it boils down to the USA's forcing it's "you step on my property, I'm legally allowed to shoot you dead" mentality on other countries. These governments already have pretty good level playing fields as it is, TPP is threatening to destroy that level playing field.

      But having said that -- I can't see how this threatens the internet

        I always thought that was an excellent mentality. There is a lot to be said for the pre-emptive strike.

      It's a foot in the door for nastier things to happen later. Why do you think they were trying to keep it secret? And why were trying to do that if it was benign? I don't generally agree with 'Mob Rule' but there are too many voices against it and if the bulk of the populace don't trust them maybe they should be more up front about it?

      Last edited 01/05/13 3:34 pm

    So Tasmania's not a part of Australia now?

    So what is the big problem with this exactly? The TPP is creating a multi-national and consultative plan to aid in the content developers' right protection on the internet. I see the whole "secret" and "Global threat to the internet" malarkey as trumped up rubbish by people who equate the "internet" with "people should be able to do anything with anyone's anything anytime".
    This is of course nonsense.
    The talks are no more secret than that of any other non-established international agreement. It is not released as it is not complete. Negotiations are still happening.
    If we want the internet to be our convenient shopping market, we need to make sure that providers of content are protected adequately.
    I for one am interested in the outcomes - but to be so vehemently against such agreements kind of points out your real torrenting (I am talking the bad kind) goals.

    You speak sense crowknee, so of course those who feel entitled to illegally gain access to content will cry foul. It's sad the internet is filled with those people deluded into thinking the world owes them the content. I support stronger control and punishment to those breaching the rights of others.

    I wouldn't trust the U.S. Government as far as they could make me throw up.

    Usually when they bring up these internet restrictions they're planning to invaded another country XD

    Last edited 01/05/13 11:41 pm

    They keep trying to destroy OUR internet. It's not theirs, it does not belong to a small minority of power hungry @ssholes who are sucking up lobbying money. We must defend our internet at all cost, this is our sanctuary of truth, knowledge, and entertainment. If the internet is constricted then so will the entirety of humanity, it must remain free and open to everyone.

      The content isn't free. If it is on the net it doesn't make it OURS. That is what is being protected. How about you go and create something and have OUR internet pirate your hard work . This is not the internet. It's theft plain and simple

        you do realize KNOWLEDGE is free
        and shall and always should be
        if you discover something and have the audcity to want to CHARGE for that knowledge
        you are a scumbag and 100% whats wrong with this world
        YOUR GREED TO KEEP everything you know to yourself
        WHAT IF GOT SICK and i knew how to help you but i said NOPE THAT'LL BE 10,000$ you'd think i was crazy right?
        well thats what we got going on here

    Well I might just move to Tasmania, looks like they are not part of Australia any more.
    Bwah ha ha ha

    Content IS free.

    I for one AM a content creator, and happy allow others and the internet to use and share it.. There are Many Many other like myself too. This concept of Content is MINE MINE MINE is a selfish and greedy one based on old revenue models of greed & control.

    If content i created get out there and helps someone, or allows someone to use it, then that's Fantastic. If more businesses had similar ideas we wouldn't have piracy to begin with.

    Just look at the gaming industry. After YEARS of Piracy, developers are SLOWLY catching on that their marking and revenue models have to change & adapt. These policies are often pushed by the Music & Film industry because they dont want to change and adapt!! Yet they make BILLIONS still every year all the while crying wolf.

    More Centralised control is NEVER a good thing for the majority of people. At the end of the day that is all these gatherings are about.

      we are out here to give away
      the ones that aren't
      aren't from the internet
      their from the 80's and came to be greedy fucks!

    Judging by the sound of it, and I hope I'm wrong... if this little act of theirs gets through, then it will have a rather large impact on the internet. Unless it's being hosted in a country not involved, sites will no longer be able to have any content that they do not own the rights to, or have permission to use. This includes images or videos of games, movies, used for review.

    This is assuming I understand it correctly, which I may not as it's nearly 7am...

    I honestly hope if this kind of thing ever goes through, that sales for the mainstream entertainment industry plummet and there' some kind of an indie revolution. Doubt it though

    It's all part of the New World Order. This is how we roll now. Pretty much you'll have to go with it, or be dealt with, governmentally. Vision a hundred years into the future: one race, one economy, one system. I'm excited!

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