As TPP is signed in Auckland casino, campaigners vow “final battle” to prevent massive deal being ratified
Experts warn that extreme TPP intellectual property rules will cost Canadian economy billions, undermine digital rights, and restrict freedom of expression online
February 3, 2016– The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has just been signed by Trade Ministers representing Canada and 11 other TPP nations encompassing over 40% of the global economy. A range of experts have warned that the TPP’s intellectual property chapter will undermine digital rights, restrict freedom of expression, and cause billions in economic damage.
Today’s signing ceremony, which took place in Auckland’s Sky City Casino, does not mean the TPP has come into force; that will require at least 6 nations to formally ratify it. In Canada’s case, the government has promised a debate and vote in Parliament. Digital rights group OpenMedia is vowing to wage nation-by-nation campaigns to prevent the TPP coming into force.
“The TPP is an extreme deal that will censor the Web, criminalize our online activities, and cost us money,” says Meghan Sali, Digital Rights Specialist with OpenMedia. “A casino is a fitting backdrop for industry lobbyists and government bureaucrats to gamble away our digital future. That said, this deal still needs to be ratified, so today really marks the start of the final stage of our campaign to reject the TPP once and for all. Millions are speaking out, and we won’t let their voices be ignored.”
Key criticisms of the TPP intellectual property chapter’s impact on digital rights include:
It forces all 12 TPP nations to adopt harsh U.S.-style copyright rules, including an economically damaging extension of copyright terms to life-of-creator plus 70 years. (source: Prof. Michael Geist)
Its restrictive Digital Rights Management (DRM) provisions will hamper innovation, cause people to lose autonomy over their own devices, and make it harder for new artists to remix and create new works. (source: EFF)
Its impact on the digital economy will mean fewer jobs and greater inequality, and will cause the TPP’s two largest economies — the U.S. and Japan — to shrink as a result of the deal. (source: Tufts University)
Blackberry co-founder Jim Balsillie warns that the TPP will hamper Canadian innovation and put Canada on a path to relying too heavily on a resource-based economy for prosperity: “When Canada diligently follows U.S. and European demands for stronger IP protection, we create greater leverage and prosperity for large foreign companies with pre-existing intellectual property rights positions, which further entrenches and extends their profits at our expense.”
Following today’s signing ceremony, OpenMedia is urging citizens across the world to speak up at https://act.openmedia.org/finalbattle