America fields "Son of ACTA" -- a new, sinister, secret copyright treaty

Knowledge Ecology International has published a leaked draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the latest secret, US-led treaty, this one targeting countries on the Pacific rim. The IP chapter of the agreement contains all the material that the US was forced to drop from ACTA, the last secret copyright treaty the States tried to sneak into the world. As with ACTA, the game plan for TPP will be to get a bunch of rich, powerful countries to sign on, and then use this as a benchmark for all treaties between those nations and the rest of the world.

Here's some of Michael Geist's analysis:

The U.S. plan is everything it wanted in ACTA but didn't get. For example, the digital lock rules are the U.S. DMCA, complete with exact same exceptions (no more, no less). The term of copyright matches the U.S. term of life of the author plus 70 years, beyond the Berne requirement and Canadian law. The ISP provisions including a copy of the U.S. notice-and-takedown system as well as provisions that go beyond U.S. law. In other words, the U.S. envisions using the TPP to export its copyright law to as many countries as possible while creating backdoor changes to its own domestic laws. Moreover, the chapter extends well beyond copyright, with patent provisions that would restrict countries' ability to restrict patentable subject matter.
The complete Feb 10, 2011 text of the US proposal for the TPP IPR chapter


  1. It’s good that you’re keeping us informed about all of the increasingly ridiculous TRIPs-plus agreements that the U.S. is trying to negotiate, but I think you should also take some time to look for what’s happening in the opposite direction: poorer or less ip-rich countries are also trying expand international IP jurisprudence to get around some of the more onerous TRIPs provisions. You’ll find stuff on how to try to get around IP restrictions from the WHO, on international jurisprudence in food and agriculture, and human rights law. For anyone interested in the full picture, I highly recommend:

    Laurence R. Helfer. “Regime shifting: The trips agreement and new dynamics of international intellectual property lawmaking.” Yale Journal of International Law, 29, 2004.

  2. At one point in my life I was complaining to a buddy about how I want to leave the US to live elsewhere because of our crappy domestic policies. He told me “it’s a poor choice, because if you think our domestic policies suck, just think about how much it would suck to deal with our foreign policies.”

    1. Sounds a lot like Bill Hicks quoting Barry Crimmins.

      “ ‘Hey, buddy,’ this guy says to him after a show. ‘America—love it or leave it!’ And Crimmins goes, ‘What? And be a victim of our foreign policy?’ “

    1. Don’t worry, legislators make up their own preopositions anyway. At least the local ones seem to. Hereunto, wheretofor, and so on, not to mention some remarkably nonstandard uses for “whereas.”

      I consider my self well educated and fairly well read, but the kinds of sentence structures that appear in laws and legal documents completely baffle me. Sometimes I’ll get through an entire paragraph without being able to find an independent clause- sometimes not even a verb.

  3. @HDN Yes, but the good part is, you can call the American system “crap”, the laws “ridiculous” and the government “anti-democratic” in public, without the “home-land security” coming after you.

    In the US you better watch what you say – unless you want to end like the poor boy who published that video of US soldiers in a helicopter murdering civilians in Iraq.

    Even as a foreigner if you happen to have a beard, the wrong skin color or order the wrong meal on a flight you might get arrested when trying to enter the country.

    I was asked to come to the US for a visit. But I think I will stay at home. This racist country is not safe for foreigners.

  4. can we please be explicit when refering to who is undertaking this powergrab? Who is it that stands to gain? Why is there not more action on the part of authors to make their voices heard, or is there an accounted majority in favor?

    To speak of the U.S. is quite clearly to speak of US, the we, and this really seems like a them situation, not inclusive or representative. But truly, i dont know the majority. only a minor minority. But, across the board, there is the clear sentiment that this is exploitation of the worst kind by the worst kind, but with a minimal clarity as to who are the direct, front liners.

  5. Money talks. As with everything else big business wants, they’ll get this. They’ll just keep reintroducing it under new names until (1) they have enough of their people in congress; (2) the public is tired of fighting it; and (3) the public is distracted by some other big deal.

  6. I left America in 2007, and I don’t see any reason to return, other than to visit family and friends. I certainly don’t think I wanna raise my kids there, and have to answer questions like “but daddy, people on Wall Street don’t go to jail when they steal…” Future generations of America, born into debt slavery, and a long declining quality of life, No thanks. We were sold a rotten bill of goods.

    1. If you ain’t gonna work on Maggies Farm no more, then you don’t get to say “we”, hope the door didn’t hit you on the way out.

  7. I have come to recognize these two fundamental facts about modern American politics:

    First, The Republican party is owned lock, stock and dead-fish-filled-stinking barrel by all of corporate America.

    Second, The Democratic party is owned lock, stock and dead-fish-filled-stinking barrel by the entertainment industry.

    I’m 66. I have been a moderate progressive and Democrat all my life. I have tried to contribute civically, socially and politically to all the communities where I’ve lived. I have fought cynicism all my life.

    I am in true despair politically. I have nowhere to turn. But, I know that all of us of all the living generations must continue to speak out and fight.


  8. Before WikiLeaks I was skeptical about treaties. Now I’m flat-out against them. I don’t have a chance to see the document, much less agree on my own, and I’m expected to be bound by it?

    Fuck this noise. Let’s go a bit beyond ACTA and its clones and immediately repudiate ALL treaties with the USA and schedule the rest for proper democratic vetting and reworking.

  9. It’s fine that my country (Australia) is allied with the US, but do we have to adopt all their ridiculous pro-corporation BS, too?

    Not that we have much of a choice about being joined at the hip because, apparently, if we are not with them, we’re against them.

  10. Hey now, wasn’t there something that happened due to taxation without representation? Or something?

  11. I don’t see what you’re all complaining about.

    After all, when we went to the polls at the last election, one thing that we specifically voted for was new aggressive copyright treaties to be negotiated in secret. I remember it as a key point in Obama’s platform, and the only thing that voters from both parties agreed on. It’s not as if the government is trying to introduce a measure that has exactly no support from anyone except a few large corporations: they have a popular mandate to deliver this.

    Wait … we didn’t? It doesn’t? Oh, OK, never mind …

  12. Lolzors. The best thing we can do is keep downloading. The governments owned by big content (along with many other corporations lobbyists). Vote with your wallet. caring means sharing guys :) while were on the subject, check out the new EA drm fiasco stories. Wooo… Funnnn. Yeah drm suuucks, EA suuuucks, MAFIAA suuuucks. Vote Anonymous party XD

  13. > The IP chapter of the agreement contains all the material that the US was forced to drop from ACTA

    It’s called BOILERPLATE – you put all your wishes down in legalese in a master contract that is presented at the time the deal is proposed. Anything the other party doesn’t like, they have to negotiate out of the contract, usually with some horse-trading. It’s called BOILERPLATE because you use it to cook up a deal.

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