EFF: Will Hollywood's Whining Thwart Better TPP Copyright Rules?

Posted by Soledad Vega on Wed, 08/19/2015 - 09:35

Motion Picture loves fair use, but hates it on the TPP. Double standards? Speak out now against this secretive, internet-censoring deal at StoptheSecrecy.net

Article by Maria Sutton for EFF 

As far as secret, corporate-driven trade agreements go, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a particularly terrible deal for users, not least because it empowers Hollywood and other big publishers at the expense of everyone else. But there seems to be a glimmer of hope that one critical part of it could be improved. Some tech companies and policymakers are lobbying hard to increase the flexibility of the TPP's language on exceptions and limitations to copyright. According to reports, lobbyists representing companies like Google and other members of the Internet Association and lawmakers like Sen. Ron Wyden have been working behind the scenes to pressure the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to reopen the text for amendment.

The USTR first introduced copyright exceptions and limitations language in the TPP in 2012. At that time we called out the proposal as being too weak, noting that it could actually restrict rather than encourage the broader adoption of fair use around the world. A few years and more than a dozen negotiation rounds later, we've been proved right. The provisions that U.S. trade officials first lauded as a huge step towards bringing balance to its copyright proposals will in fact do little to promote new safeguards for user rights.

First, according to the most recently leaked text, the provision is merely a suggestion that TPP nations' copyright rules should balance the needs of rightsholders and the public interest. The language says that countries only "shall endeavor" to achieve a balance in their copyright rules. In every other part of the agreement, countries are actually required to adopt certain rules, or at least provide for the passage of stricter copyright rules.

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