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Opening a New Front Against Secret IP Treaties

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  • Paul Mobbs
    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/05/were-opening-new-front-against-secret-ip-treaties We Beat Them to Lima: Opening a New Front Against Secret IP Treaties An
    Message 1 of 1 , May 17 4:37 AM

      We Beat Them to Lima: Opening a New Front Against Secret IP Treaties

      An expanded edition of EFFector, EFF's almost-weekly newsletter.

      Danny O'Brien, Electronic Frontier Fiundation, 15th May 2013

      I’m Danny O’Brien, EFF’s new International Director. Five years ago, I
      worked on the EFF team that identified the threat of ACTA, a secret
      global intellectual property treaty we discovered was being used to
      smuggle Internet control provisions into the laws of over thirty
      countries. Together with an amazing worldwide coalition of activists
      from Europe to South Korea, we beat back that threat.

      I’m writing to you today to explain what's happening with the new ACTA:
      the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP has been around since the Bush
      administration, but recently the pace has picked up, with governments
      saying they want to get the agreement signed and done by the end of this

      Global activism can stop TPP, but preventing the endless merry-go-round
      of new IP treaties means tackling the problem at its roots. I'd like to
      describe what we're doing on both those fronts, and how you can help.
      But first, I'd like you to meet this gentleman:

      Meet Michael Froman: The Most Important Man in Global Copyright

      This is Michael Froman, and barring a scandal, he's about to be the new
      United States Trade Representative (USTR). The U.S. Trade Representative
      negotiates international trade agreements on behalf of the United
      States. Congress has one opportunity to ask him questions at his
      nomination hearing.

      They should take full advantage of it. Right now, the only reason the
      public knows anything about what the USTR is doing on IP is that
      whistleblowers participating in the treaty process have leaked what they
      can. (Congressman Darrell Issa re-published the leaks on his own office
      site, over the USTR's objections).

      Those documents show that the American proposals for the Trans-Pacific
      Partnership would export the worst of modern U.S. copyright law, and
      thwart other countries' ability to create laws that best meet their
      domestic needs:

      # The proposed rules could prevent individuals from circumventing DRM—
      the technical barriers put in place to make copying, accessing, and
      sharing copyrighted content more difficult. This would hinder technical
      fixes necessary to make content accessible for the blind or to unlock
      your phone.

      # It contains provisions that would, by default, regulate "temporary"
      reproductions of copyrighted files, thereby restricting all kinds of
      intrinsic functions of your computer.

      # It increases copyright terms well beyond international standards,
      adding some 20 years to copyright terms worldwide, potentially robbing
      the public domain of decades of cultural works.

      # In many countries, an allegation of infringement is not enough to get
      material taken offline. TPP’s proposals, by contrast, put in place a
      system (similar to the one we have in the U.S.) that encourages ISPs to
      take down content based on nothing but a notice. We’ve seen how that can
      be abused here—do we really want to export it wholesale?

      Treaties like this also help to fossilize existing U.S. law and force
      other countries to sign up for American missteps. Momentum in D.C. for
      rolling back copyright terms and DRM law is growing, but opponents of
      those changes have argued that lawmakers can't undo their own mistakes—
      because, they say, we've already signed onto IP trade agreements that we
      supposedly can't undo.
      What We're Doing

      We're asking U.S. senators to use the nomination process to grill Froman
      about the USTR’s IP plans, and we’re petitioning him directly to adopt
      meaningful transparency and stop using trade agreements to push
      aggressive IP programs worldwide.

      Could Froman really reform U.S. trade agreement strategies? Yes, but
      only if he and the Administration face coordinated pressure from
      American politicians and citizens plus resistance from other countries
      pushing back against American demands.

      Which brings us to why EFF's Maira Sutton and Katitza Rodriguez are
      remotely working right now—from Lima, the capital of Peru.

      Yara TPP!

      Starting today, the U.S. Trade Rep and negotiators from 10 other
      countries are meeting in Lima to take part in the latest round of
      negotiations for TPP.

      We beat them there. Kat is our International Rights Director. She's also
      Peruvian. She's spent the last month in Lima working with fellow
      Peruvian technologists, makers and artists, highlighting how TPP will
      affect them. She has been working with the other groups fighting TPP on
      the ground, including Hiperderecho, Peru's own digital rights activism

      The result? An explosion in information and public debate in Peru about
      TPP. Kat has written Spanish language editorials, met with Peruvian
      politicians, journalists, students, free software advocates and
      filmmakers. Lima's hackerspace, Escuelab, hosted a two-day hackathon
      that produced memes and microsites that explain TPP to fellow Peruvians
      and the world. There's even the inevitable Peruvian TPP Downfall video.
      Other hackerspaces took part around the world, producing sites with
      titles like http://whytheheckshouldicareaboutthetpp.com/.

      The slogan and hashtag of Peruvians' digital rights activists is
      "#yaratpp", a slang term which means (roughly) "Warning! TPP!".
      Peruvians have joined the fight at Nonegociable.pe, asking their
      President to set clear non-negotiable lines to ensure that Peruvians'
      fundamental freedoms are respected in the TPP negotiations.
      Help Us Stop the TPP – and the IP Treaty Tarpit

      The TPP negotiators are on deadline in Lima. They've already said TPP's
      IP chapter is one of the "more challenging issues that remain." It's
      more challenging still when the host country is demanding to know why
      this trade agreement would undermine local entrepreneurs and artists.
      Meanwhile, politicians back in the U.S. are demanding a closer look at
      their head negotiator's IP stance.

      Like battling ACTA, stopping the TPP and its descendants is going to be
      a long-term fight that will take a worldwide effort. But you can help us
      today by taking advantage of the Froman nomination to speak truth to

      Sign our petition demanding that Froman usher in a new age of
      transparency as the next US Trade Representative:

      Stop USTR Secrecy

      If you’re in the U.S., please also send a message to your representative
      to demand an end to these secret backdoor negotiations:

      Don’t Let Them Trade Away Our Internet Freedoms

      And if you're in Peru, join Hiperderecho and tell the Peruvian president
      that our rights over the Internet are non-negotiable:

      Pidamos juntos límites no negociables

      Stay tuned to the Deeplinks blog for more updates on the fight for
      sensible global copyright policy.


      "We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
      nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
      for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
      that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
      righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
      God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
      (Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

      Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
      3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
      tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
      email - mobbsey@...
      website - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/index.shtml
      public key - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/mobbsey_public_key-2013.asc
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