TR Member Perks!

Trade officials representing the twelve countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership have reached a final agreement. However, these negotiations were merely the first step in the process. Now the legislatures of the countries must debate the treaty and give their final approval in order for it to take effect. The TPP deal is being promoted for its free trade aspects, which supporters claim will be mutually beneficial for the countries involved. Although there are no doubt going to be debates over benefits of free trade versus protectionism, much of the criticism of the deal is aimed at other aspects.

Groups like the EFF have raised serious concerns about the intellectual property section of the deal. Earlier leaked drafts of the deal showed troubling clauses relating to copyright and trade secrets. Since the final deal is not available to the public, it is unknown how many of the troubling clauses still remain or whether they have been modified in any way. But based on the direction the deal was moving in multiple leaked versions, its likely some of them will still remain.

Among the leaked versions sections which caused most concern is the ban on DRM circumvention. This despite the fact that many countries have exceptions that allow DRM circumvention for certain lawful purposes. The deal in its earlier forms also forced the other signatories to accept America’s lifetime of author plus 70 years copyright term, which is an extension beyond the current world standard of lifetime plus 50 years. This extension is widely regarded as providing little incentive to artists to create new works, but merely benefits large media corporations who want to profit off of an IP for well over a century as an alternative to actually creating something new. Many other issues that have been raised with the deal can be found here.

Although the deal is not yet available, the Fast Track plan that was passed by Congress requires the President to make a copy available online within 30 days of announcing intent to sign, so we will all soon see what is in the deal. The EFF is already attempting to mobilize supporters to contact Congress in opposition to the deal, because they expect that the final deal will not differ significantly from the leaked drafts.

Do you think the final deal has changed significantly from the leaked drafts? Leave your comments below.


Max Michael

Senior Writer

I’m a technology reporter located near the Innovation District of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

  • BurntToShreds

    I don’t understand how any non-corporate-influenced individual could support this deal. Even the most basic of information: The trade deal has been negotiated in secret for 5 years and we only get to see it for what, one month? I’ve seen other people say 60 days, but still, one or two months for the public compared to 5 years for corporations and governments to do whatever the hell they want with it. You tell any regular uninformed person about that and they will tell you that that shit is corrupt and is in no way in the best interest of the public.

  • Clairity

    A friend of mine has “mixed feelings” about the bill. He thinks that trade is good (and I agree), but that the IP bits worry him. It seems to me that he’s forgotten that it’s been debated in secret for five years.

    If this was in everybody’s best interest (boo hoo, corporations will have to share the benefit with the peasants), then this would have been out in the open from day one. I highly doubt even the non-IP parts of the deal are truly beneficial to the average person.

  • Reon

    rest in pieces internet, freedom and 21st century liberties
    it was nice knowing ya all

  • Reon

    they wouldn’t even let representatives have copies of the documents, they wouldn’t even use e mails to discuss them

    they actually had only physical copies at specific parts, and to see them even if you were part of the governments involved you’d only be able to see it in a closed room with security behind you and you’d have to be checked before and after entering to see the documents, to make sure you could not take pictures of it

    they’ve gone beyond all measures possible to make sure the public never knows what’s coming until it is too late to do anything about it

  • BurntToShreds

    The idea that a trade deal in the 21st century where the world is now more connected than ever is being negotiated in secret without the input of those people that will be most affected by it is ridiculous. There’s not much more to say about it.

  • BurntToShreds

    I agree that trade is good. It’s 15 years into the 21st century and the world is now more connected than ever; therefore it deserves a modern trade deal that is negotiated between the real people that live in that world every day rather than a handful of high-powered executives and the elected officials they have on their payroll.

  • braneman

    Its amazing, even Donald Trump doesn’t support the TPP, but for roughly the cost of a medium good used car you too can buy a vote from a congressmen(seriously the campaign donations to vote yes on the fast track were only around 10k).

  • Toastrider

    It says a lot that the opposition to the TPP is extremely broad spectrum. I’ve seen people on both the left AND right questioning it.

  • Paul Jacobs

    So… these companies planning to get this passed do realize they need FANS in order to support their properties, don’t they?

  • Clairity

    Sadly, this seems to be against the best wishes of even creative folk. I remember a bunch of mangaka and I think a few anime studios saying TPP would actually complicate anime/manga localization. Dunno who this is supposed to help, but it’s bad for plenty of people alright.

  • boag

    Cause the majority isnt informed about it or dont care, people over 50 dont really care anymore and people under 40 are busy trying to make ends meet.