Top five ways lobbyists win and you lose with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Under the TPP, excessive copyright terms could be created beyond internationally-agreed upon periods; it could also lengthen terms for corporate-owned works. Despite the strong and growing body of evidence demonstrating the importance of a rich commons in creating new works, such a rigid copyright regime would stifle creativity and innovation. It would also restrict the limitations and exceptions that member countries could enact, ensuring that countries enact compliant laws in order to avoid trade sanctions.
2. The TPP may regulate temporary copies at the cost of innovation and freedom
Temporary copies, or the small copies that your computer needs to make in order to move data around, are being targeted by TPP lobbyists who are attempting to redefine the very meaning of the word “copy”. The very notion of regulating temporary copies is ludicrous given how basic the creation of temporary copies of files and programs is to computer functioning and the Internet. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes:
This proposal may seem absurd to you. It should. Given how crucial the storage of “temporary copies” of digital files is to the functioning of our devices, the inclusion of unfettered provisions to regulate it is purely backward, especially given the supporters’ failure to justify a legitimate purpose for imposing a burden without a balance.
If lobbyists have their way, anyone viewing content on any device could potentially be committing copyright infringement. Companies like Wikipedia and Connexions would faceserious difficulty in hosting and storing user-generated content. Ultimately, this provision could make it more expensive for you to access licensed content, make you more vulnerable to liability, require you to purchase licenses from copyright-holders for transactions, and hinder your ability to use and create online content.
1. The TPP could kick you off the Internet
The TPP will place the burden of monitoring copyright infringement on your Internet Service Provider (ISP), potentially resulting in the blocking of entire websites. Your ISP would have to institute what’s called a “three-strike rule” – a rule that would kick you and your whole family off the internet after three infringement accusations by copyright holders.
It would also force websites to police user-contributed material.. Not only would this mean added financial burden, which could lead to the stifling of technology startups, it would also result in websites having to actively monitor for banned links – forcing the creation of a stringent Internet censorship regime. If ISPs are incentivized to remove content because of the resource-heavy nature of investigating copyright infringement complaints, such immediate takedown could censor time-sensitive news, including information to facilitate social organization, protest, and community-building.
It would also break your right to privacy by forcing your ISP to share your private sensitive information with law enforcement in order to investigate your alleged copyright crimes.
Here’s the bottom line: The TPP is a secretive and extreme agreement that could break our digital future. It could change how we behave online, threaten our freedom of expression by promoting an extreme Internet censorship plan, and invade our privacy. The TPP will stifle creativity and innovation, hinder our ability to access information and organize, and criminalize our Internet use. The TPP is an affront to global Internet freedom.
Over 100,000 people have said no to the TPP’s extreme Internet censorship plan and several thousand have put forward their vision of a fair digital future. Join them and make your voice heard – the time is now.