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Free tradeIt’s no longer free trade versus protectionism. Big corporations and Wall Street want some of both.

 Freezenet seems to be the first website to publish a full run-down of the final draft of the Intellectual Property chapter in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The leak was published on Wikileaks earlier. The analysis seems to confirm what the EFF has said, saying that the chapter “confirms our worst fears about the agreement, and dashes the few hopes that we held out that its most onerous provisions wouldn’t survive to the end of the negotiations.” The analysis focuses mainly on copyright enforcement on the Internet and the impact the chapter would have on personal devices, VPN services, and ISPs.
One noteworthy find by Freezenet is the inclusion of a “TPP Commission” which would decide when different countries are supposed to meet outside of the 10-year cycle, discussing “market circumstances” of “the development of new pharmaceutical products.” What other roles the TPP Commission takes on is unclear given that it is not mentioned anywhere else in the chapter.
Few could have predicted the Liberal majority win in Canada’s recent election. Now that the Canadian government is in a state of transition, some have speculated what the new government will bring to the table when it comes to a policy on technology.
Michael Geist is speculating that the people in the new Liberal government may bring about a positive policy change, concluding “All of this points to real change and the chance for a fresh start on Canadian digital policy in the years ahead.”
Meanwhile, Freezenet has a very different take. Drew Wilson points out that the last time the Liberal government was in power, the party was very combative on digital rights because they were trying to bring in Lawful Access and the Canadian DMCA before Stephen Harper took power. In one very infamous exchange, Sam Bulte lashed out at people like Michael Geist by calling him and his supporters “pro-user zealots.

General Provisions:

Analysis on page 3 which provides the following:

Article QQ.A.5: {General Provisions / Nature and Scope of Obligations}

Each Party shall give effect to the provisions of this Chapter. A Party may, but shall not be obliged to, provide more extensive protection for, and enforcement of, intellectual property rights under its law than is required by this Chapter, provided that such protection and enforcement does not contravene the provisions of this Chapter.

Some people question whether or not countries have to actually implement all or some of the provisions in the chapter. This article seems to be clear that all provisions must be implemented and that the only flexibility is if countries want to implement more strict laws that go above and beyond this agreement. It isn’t necessary, but this agreement says that there is no harm in that so long as the restrictions in the agreement aren’t circumvented in any way.

Ratification of Other Treaties

wipoContinuing on page 4, we see the following:

2. Each Party shall ratify or accede to each of the following agreements, where it is
not already a Party to such agreement, by the date of entry into force of this Agreement for
the Party concerned:[…]

(e) WIPO Copyright Treaty (1996); and
(f) WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (1996).

In a previous analysis, the following notes were made:

While this is one of a number of treaties this agreement demands members to adopt, we have some familiarity with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) treaties. The treaty was controversial for a host of reasons including the prohibition of circumvention of things like Digital rights Management (DRM). Why this is controversial is the fact that it doesn’t take into account legal exceptions various countries have like Fair Dealing (Canada) or Fair Use (US). the treaty would give rise to the more famous and more controversial US law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright act (DMCA). This can be found on the Wikipedia entry of the treaty. Another controversy of WIPO was the numerous attempts to bring in what is known as the broadcasting treaty. What the treaty would have done is create a new layer of copyright over the transmission of content. So, if a broadcaster airs something that is in the public domain, the broadcaster would have exclusive rights of that work regardless if they played a role in the creation of that content. One posting about this can be found on the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Suffice to say, WIPO has had many controversies in the past.

The current provision does not move the needle in any direction from the previous draft, so our comments are pretty much the same.

Unmasking of Domain Name Owners

Moving on to page 12, see the following:

Article QQ.C.12: {Domain Name Cybersquatting}
1. In connection with each Party’s system for the management of its country-code toplevel domain (ccTLD) domain names, the following shall be available:

(a) an appropriate procedure for the settlement of disputes, based on, or modelled along the same lines as, the principles established in the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy, or that is: (i) designed to resolve disputes expeditiously and at low cost, (ii) fair and equitable, (iii) not overly burdensome, and (iv) does not preclude resort to court litigation; and

(b) online public access to a reliable and accurate database of contact information concerning domain-name registrants;

in accordance with each Party’s laws and, where applicable, relevant administrator policies regarding protection of privacy and personal data.

2. In connection with each Party’s system for the management of ccTLD domain names, appropriate remedies, shall be available, at least in cases where a person registers or holds, with a bad faith intent to profit, a domain name that is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark.

The idea here is that if you register a domain name, you can no longer be officially anonymous. This would affect countries like Canada that allow domain name owners to refuse to reveal their identity based on privacy concerns. This provision would remove that kind of protection. There is a provision that suggests the information must be in accordance to privacy laws, but that would have more to do with social insurance numbers rather than contact information.

The Creation of a TPP Commission

Something we either didn’t catch previously or something that is new is something called the “TPP Commission.” There is only one mention of it in the chapter and that is found on page 26 while discussing pharmaceuticals:

3. Recognizing that international and domestic regulation of new pharmaceutical products that are or contain a biologic is in a formative stage and that market circumstances may evolve over time, the Parties shall consult after 10 years, or as otherwise decided by the TPP Commission, to review the period of exclusivity provided in paragraph 1 and the scope of application provided in paragraph 2, with a view to providing effective incentives for the development of new pharmaceutical products that are or contain a biologic, as well as with a view to facilitating the timely availability of follow-on biosimilars, and to ensuring that the scope of application remains consistent with international developments regarding approval of additional categories of new pharmaceutical products that are or contain a biologic.

So, apparently, the TPP Commission is to watch over the pharmaceutical industry and direct countries (AKA “parties”) as to when to meet to discuss regulations as it pertains to the markets should a discussion need to take place outside of the 10 year. This paragraph suggests that the TPP Commission is also an international body that oversees many countries and how the government regulates themselves. What else would the TPP Commission be tasked to do? We don’t know. This is the only mention of it in the entire chapter. It does raise a number of troubling thoughts, however. Who would run the TPP Commission? Who would be appointed or elected to the TPP Commission? Is this part of the international tribunal system that has been previously mentioned from past leaks? Will the TPP Commission enforce compliance for the laws mentioned in the TPP? Even though it’s not mentioned anywhere else in this chapter, it could very well still affect how countries implement laws related to copyright in some kind of core text or general provisions section that has yet to be leaked or otherwise disclosed.

Length of Copyright

Moving on to page 31, see the following:

Article QQ.G.6: {Term of Protection for Copyright and Related Rights}

Each Party shall provide that, where the term of protection of a work (including a photographic work), performance, or phonogram is to be calculated:
(a) on the basis of the life of a natural person, the term shall be not less than the life of the author and 70 years after the author’s death[80]; and

(b) on a basis other than the life of a natural person, the term shall be:

(i) not less than 70 years from the end of the calendar year of the first authorized publication of the work, performance, or phonogram; or

(ii) failing such authorized publication within 25 years from the creation of the work, performance, or phonogram, not less than 70 years from the end of the calendar year of the creation of the work, performance, or phonogram.

The footnote for 80 is as follows:

80 The Parties understand that if a Party provides its nationals a term of copyright protection that exceeds life of the author plus 70 years, nothing in this Article or Article QQ.A.9 shall preclude that Party from applying Article 7.8 of the Berne Convention with respect to the term in excess of the term provided in QQ.G.6(a) of protection for works of another Party.

So, in short, the new floor for copyright terms is now life plus 70 years. If a countries copyright term is longer, then that does not run afoul of the TPP. We saw this length being debated in the previous draft and the length went as high as life plus 100 years. It would appear that the length chosen was the middle ground (the choices being life plus 50 years, 70 years, or 100 years). Interesting to say the least, but for many countries, this represents a copyright term extension.

Criminal Liability Added to Anti-Circumvention Laws

TPP 1Starting on page 33, find the following:

Article QQ.G.10: {Technological Protection Measures}
(a) In order to provide adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies against the circumvention of effective technological measures that authors, performers, and producers of phonograms use in connection with the exercise of their rights and that restrict unauthorized acts in respect of their works, performances, and phonograms, each Party shall provide that any person who:

(i) knowingly, or having reasonable grounds to know, circumvents without authority any effective technological measure that controls access to a protected work, performance, or phonogram90; or

(ii) manufactures, imports, distributes , offers for sale or rental to the public, or otherwise provides devices, products, or components, or offers to the public or provides services, that:

(A) are promoted, advertised, or otherwise marketed by that person for the purpose of circumventing any effective technological measure;

(B) have only a limited commercially significant purpose or use other than to circumvent any effective technological measure; or

(C) are primarily designed, produced, or performed for the purpose of circumventing any effective technological measure, shall be liable and subject to the remedies set out in Article QQ.H.4.17(Civil Judicial Proceedings relating to TPMs and RMIs).

Each Party shall provide for criminal procedures and penalties to be applied where any person is found to have engaged wilfully and for the purposes of commercial advantage or financial gain in any of the above activities.

One thing to note is the fact that the language of “commercial scale” is nowhere to be found in this instance. Instead, we see the terms “commercial advantage” and “financial gain.” The placement of this is extremely vague. Does the commercial advantage have to relate explicitly to the alleged infringement or could it be indirectly related in some way to trigger criminal charges? In any event, this appears to be a move away from targeting commercial piracy to encompass many more people than what is the norms in many countries. Anti-circumvention, for some countries, isn’t anything new (like the US). What may be new is the added element of criminal liability added over top of the charges where it was typically civil liability before.

“Deterrent” Level Liabilities

Moving on to page 37, we see the following language:

Article QQ.H.1: {General Enforcement}
1. Each Party shall ensure that enforcement procedures as specified in this section, are available under its law so as to permit effective action against any act of infringement of intellectual property rights covered by this Chapter, including expeditious remedies to prevent infringements and remedies which constitute a deterrent to future infringements.

What this means exactly is unclear. What constitutes deterrent level? What might be likely is statutory damages. As we’ve seen in the US, statutory damages can mean that you get sued for millions of dollars for sharing a dozen or so songs without authorization. There is still debate as to how that conforms to the constitution. Still, that could be what negotiators have in mind here.

Government Mandated Spying on Copyright Infringement

Liberty-SpyingMoving onto page 39:

Article QQ.H.3: {Enforcement Practices With Respect to Intellectual Property Rights} […]

2. Each Party recognizes the importance of collecting and analyzing statistical data and other relevant information concerning intellectual property rights infringements as well as collecting information on best practices to prevent and combat infringements.

3. Each Party shall publish or otherwise make available to the public information on its efforts to provide effective enforcement of intellectual property rights in its civil, administrative and criminal systems, such as statistical information that the Party may collect for such purposes.

Given the very general term of infringement, this would almost suggest that governments are being mandated to monitor the Internet directly for copyright infringement among other things. This represents the outsourcing of something major copyright holders pay for directly onto the government (and thus, taxpayers).

Unlimited Damages

On Page 40, see the following:

2. Each Party shall provide that in civil judicial proceedings its judicial authorities have the authority at least to order the infringer to pay the right holder damages adequate to compensate for the injury the right holder has suffered because of an infringement of that person’s intellectual property right by an infringer who knowingly, or with reasonable grounds to know, engaged in infringing activity.

3. At least in cases of copyright or related rights infringement and trademark counterfeiting, each Party shall provide that, in civil judicial proceedings, its judicial authorities have the authority to order the infringer, at least as described in paragraph 2, to pay the right holder the infringer’s profits that are attributable to the infringement.

4. In determining the amount of damages under paragraph 2, its judicial authorities shall have the authority to consider, inter alia, any legitimate measure of value the right holder submits, which may include lost profits, the value of the infringed goods or services measured by the market price, or the suggested retail price.

What we’re mainly focusing in on is the last paragraph – specifically this: “any legitimate measure of value the right holder submits, which may include lost profits”. What is considered “lost profits?” How can this be measured? The simple answer is that this is not necessarily a calculable thing. Instead, this is simply a number that can be made up by rights holders (which is not unheard of by any means). Because the rights holders have the ability to pick any number and call it “lost profits”, then the damages could be anything. The sky is the limit here so far as the rights-holders are concerned. For example, a rights holder could sue an alleged infringer for downloading Justin Beiber music.

When asked, the rights-holder could say that the lost profits are $500 billion. Who’s to say that copyright won’t be extended in the future? Who’s to say that inflation might take over in the future? Who’s to say that Justin Beiber music won’t become a national currency in a couple of countries? These provisions could set up this sort of scenario. Reality is just a distraction, after all.

To add to the unlimited damages, there is this found in page 41:

9. Pre-established damages under paragraphs (7) and (8) shall be set out in an amount that would be sufficient to compensate the right holder for the harm caused by the infringement, and with a view to deterring future infringements.

10. In awarding additional damages under paragraphs (7) and (8), judicial authorities shall have the authority to award such additional damages as they consider appropriate, having regard to all relevant matters, including the nature of the infringing conduct and the need to deter similar infringements in the future.

So, if the rights holder in question feels like piling on even more damages. They can elect to impose damages that would be “deterring future infringements”. So, maybe $500 billion won’t teach the infringer a lesson. Maybe it would be better to fine the person $1 Trillion just to drive home the message.

Damages and Destruction of TPM Circumvention

On page 42, we see the following:

17. In civil judicial proceedings concerning the acts described in Article QQ.G.10 (TPMs) and Article QQ.G.12 (RMI), each Party shall provide that its judicial authorities shall, at least, have the authority to:

(a) impose provisional measures, including seizure or other taking into custody of devices and products suspected of being involved in the prohibited activity;

(b) order the type of damages available for copyright infringement, as provided under its regime in accordance with Article QQ.H.4;

(c) order court costs, fees, or expenses as provided for under Article QQ.H.4.11; and

(d) order the destruction of devices and products found to be involved in the prohibited activity.

The problem here is that if the “product” happens to be an open source project that has been released into the public online, how is it possible to even carry through a “destruction” order?

Authority to Enforce Copyright Laws Even Before Infringement Takes Place

On page 43, see the following:

Article QQ.H.5: {Provisional Measures}
1. Each Party’s authorities shall act on requests for relief in respect of any intellectual property right inaudita altera parte expeditiously in accordance with the Party’s judicial rules.

2. Each Party shall provide that its judicial authorities have the authority to require the applicant, with respect to provisional measures in respect of any intellectual property right, to provide any reasonably available evidence in order to satisfy themselves with a sufficient degree of certainty that the applicant’s right is being infringed or that such infringement is imminent, and to order the applicant to provide a security or equivalent assurance set at a level sufficient to protect the defendant and to prevent abuse. Such security or equivalent assurance shall not unreasonably deter recourse to such procedures.

3. In civil judicial proceedings concerning copyright or related rights infringement and trademark counterfeiting, each Party shall provide that its judicial authorities shall have the authority to order the seizure or other taking into custody of suspected infringing goods, materials and implements relevant to the infringement, and, at least for trademark counterfeiting, documentary evidence relevant to the infringement.

In other words, authorities can target you if you have infringed on copyright, or if they believe infringement is “imminent”. This, of course, raises a whole host of problems because under what circumstances can authorities take you down when you are accused of being about to infringe on copyright? The fact that you don’t even have to infringe on copyright to have your door busted down by the feds for copyright infringement raises a number of red flags.

Seizing Your Cellphone at the Border

Market surveillanceOn the same page (43), we also see the following:

Article QQ.H.6: {Special Requirements related to Border Measures}

1. Each Party shall provide for applications to suspend the release of, or to detain, any suspect counterfeit or confusingly similar trademark, or pirated copyright goods that are imported123 into the territory of the Party. […]

5. Each Party shall provide that its competent authorities have the authority to require a right holder initiating procedures to suspend the release of suspected counterfeit or confusingly similar trademark goods, or pirated copyright goods, to provide a reasonable security or equivalent assurance sufficient to protect the defendant and the competent authorities and to prevent abuse. […]

6. Without prejudice to a Party’s laws pertaining to privacy or the confidentiality of information, where its competent authorities have detained or suspended the release of goods that are suspected of being counterfeit trademark goods or pirated copyright goods, a Party may provide that its competent authorities have the authority to inform the right holder without undue delay of the names and addresses of the consignor, exporter, consignee, or importer, a description of the goods, quantity of the goods, and, if known, the country of origin of the goods. Where a Party does not provide such authority to its competent authorities when suspect goods are detained or suspended from release, it shall provide at least in cases of imported goods, its competent authorities with the authority to provide the foregoing information to the right holder normally within 30 days of the seizure or determination that the goods are counterfeit trademark or pirated copyright goods.

7. Each Party shall provide that its competent authorities may initiate border measures
ex officio with respect to goods under customs control129 that are:

(a) imported;
(b) destined for export; or
(c) in-transit,

and that are suspected of being counterfeit trademark goods, or pirated copyright goods.

So, if your cell phone is suspected of containing copyright infringing content, whether it is being brought in the country, brought out, or in transit between countries, authorities can seize it and alert copyright holders immediately.

Should you get caught with allegedly infringing content on your cellphone, authorities have the right to fine and administer penalties against you:

8. Each Party shall adopt or maintain a procedure by which its competent authorities may determine, within a reasonable period of time after the initiation of the procedures described under Article QQ.H.6.(1), QQ.H.6.6(a) and QQ.H.6.6(b)and if applicable QQ.H.6.6(c), whether the suspect goods infringe an intellectual property right133. Where a Party provides administrative procedures for the determination of an infringement, it may also provide its authorities with the authority to impose administrative penalties or sanctions, which may include fines or the seizure of the infringing goods, following a determination that the goods are infringing.

Then, what happens to your cellphone after you get questioned? Well, authorities can destroy it of course:

9. Each Party shall provide that its competent authorities have the authority to order the destruction of goods following a determination that the goods are infringing. In cases where such goods are not destroyed, each Party shall ensure that, except in exceptional circumstances, such goods are disposed of outside the channels of commerce in such a manner as to avoid any harm to the right holder.

So, who pays for the destruction or holding of your cellphone? Naturally, you do:

10. Where a Party establishes or assesses, in connection with the procedures described in this Article, an application fee, storage fee, or destruction fee, such fee shall not be set at an amount that unreasonably deters recourse to these procedures.

The question is, are exceptions to this? Isn’t it a little extreme to smash your cellphone? Well, there is one exception:

11. Each Party shall include in the application of this Article goods of a commercial nature sent in small consignments. A Party may exclude from the application of this Article small quantities of goods of a non-commercial nature contained in travelers’ personal luggage

So, if you have your cellphone in your luggage somewhere, then maybe it’ll get a pass. Of course, how many people pack their cellphone in their suitcase while traveling? Are there any other exceptions to this rule? None that we can tell.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the largest–and worst–trade deal you’ve never heard of and Republicans in Congress want to work with the Obama administration to “fast track” its passage.

Anti-Cam Laws

Buried in page 46 is the following:

4. Recognizing the need to address the unauthorized copying140 of a cinematographic work from a performance in a movie theatre that causes significant harm to a right holder in the market for that work, and recognizing the need to deter such harm, each Party shall adopt or maintain measures, which shall at a minimum include but need not be limited to, appropriate criminal procedures and penalties.

Oh, and, of course, aiding and abetting is out of the question too:

5. With respect to the offenses for which this Article requires the Parties to provide for criminal procedures and penalties, Parties shall ensure that criminal liability for aiding and abetting is available under its law.

Are you going to jail if you are camming a movie? According to page 47, yup:

6. With respect to the offences described in Article QQ.H.7 (1)-(5) above, each Party shall provide:

(a) penalties that include sentences of imprisonment as well as monetary fines sufficiently high to provide a deterrent to future acts of infringement, consistently with the level of penalties applied for crimes of a corresponding gravity;

Site Blocking and Traffic Shaping

On page 51, find the following:

1. The Parties recognize the importance of facilitating the continued development of legitimate online services operating as intermediaries and, in a manner consistent with Article 41 of the TRIPS Agreement, providing enforcement procedures that permit effective action by rights holders against copyright infringement158 covered under this Chapter that occurs in the online environment. Accordingly, each Party shall ensure that legal remedies are available for rights holders to address such infringement and shall establish or maintain appropriate safe harbors in respect of online services that are Internet Service Providers. This framework of legal remedies and safe harbors shall include:

(a) legal incentives for Internet Service Providers to cooperate with copyright owners to deter the unauthorized storage and transmission of copyrighted materials or, in the alternative, to take other action to deter the unauthorized storage and transmission of copyrighted materials; and

(b) limitations in its law that have the effect of precluding monetary relief against Internet Service Providers for copyright infringements that they do not control, initiate, or direct, and that take place through systems or networks controlled or operated by them or on their behalf.

In other words, ISPs may not necessarily be on the hook for infringement of their users, but they do need to take measures to prevent the transmission and storage of copyright infringing content. Judging by the language here, this could include site blocking and traffic shaping (which would fit the bill here).

While, on the surface, that seems to simply apply to your standard ISP, a footnote would suggest that the same applies for services like VPNs as well:

For the purposes of this Section, “ Internet service provider” means:
(a) A provider of online services for the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications, between or among points specified by a user, of material of the user’s choosing, undertaking the function in paragraph 2(a);

(b) A provider of online services undertaking the functions in paragraphs 2(c) or (d).

Notice and Takedown

On page 52, we see the notice and takedown provisions:

3. To facilitate effective action to address infringement, each Party shall prescribe in its law conditions for Internet Service Providers to qualify for the limitations described in paragraph 1(b), or alternatively, shall provide for circumstances under which Internet Service Providers do not qualify for the limitations described in paragraph 1(b):

(a) With respect to the functions referred to in paragraph 2(c) and 2(d) above, such conditions shall include a requirement for Internet service providers to expeditiously remove or disable access to material residing on their networks or systems upon obtaining actual knowledge of the infringement or becoming aware of facts or circumstances from which the infringement is apparent, such as through receiving a notice of alleged infringement from the right holder or a person authorized to act on its behalf,

(b) An Internet Service Provider that removes or disables access to material in good faith pursuant to and consistent with sub-paragraph (a) shall be exempt from any liability for having done so, provided that it takes reasonable steps in advance or promptly after to notify the person whose material is removed or disabled.

What this provision would do is completely eradicate the notice-and-notice system that has proven to be effective in Canada and replace it with the much more draconian (in comparison) notice-and-takedown system. The former system is more of an innocent until proven guilty approach. The latter is a guilty until proven innocent approach. For countries that do not have a notice-and-takedown system, this is little more than importing American laws into other countries legal systems.

No Obligation for ISPs to Monitor Networks

On page 53, we noticed that ISPs themselves won’t be directly involved in the surveillance of their networks:

6. Eligibility for the limitations in paragraph 1 may not be conditioned on the Internet Service Provider monitoring its service or affirmatively seeking facts indicating infringing activity.

So, ISPs are off the hook when it comes to actively monitoring their networks. As we discussed earlier, that role appears to be being placed on the government instead.

Forcing ISPs to Hand Over Customer Information

trusted 3rd partyOn the same page (53), we see that another US style enforcement law is being pushed:

7. Each Party shall provide procedures, whether judicial or administrative, in accordance with that Party’s legal system, and consistent with principles of due process and privacy, enabling a copyright owner who has made a legally sufficient claim of copyright infringement to obtain expeditiously from an Internet Service Provider information in the provider’s possession identifying the alleged infringer, where such information is sought for the purpose of protecting or enforcing such copyright.

If a copyright holder accuses of an IP address of copyright infringement, then the ISP is obliged to hand the subscribers information over. A few things are notably absent here. For one, there is no compensation for the ISP to look up subscriber information. For another, there is no mention of court oversight here. While discover of an IP address is common practice in the US, it is typically done through a judge. That judicial oversight appears to be stripped away in this case. This allows rights holders to be prosecutor, judge and jury over accusations of infringement because they have free reign to threaten people en-mass directly.

Coming Into Force

Towards the end of this agreement, we see the following on page 54:

1. Except as otherwise provided in QQ.A.10bis and paragraphs 2-4, each Party shall give effect to the provisions of this Chapter on the date of entry into force of this Agreement for that Party.

So, all provisions must be adopted once this deal is ratified.

No Undercutting These Provisions

Furthermore, if a country, say, comes to their senses and realizes that one of these things is questionable, the country cannot undo the damage caused by that law:

2. During the relevant periods set out below, a Party shall not amend an existing measure or adopt a new measure that is less consistent with its obligations under the provisions referenced below for that Party than relevant measures that are in effect as of the date of signature of this Agreement. This provision does not affect the rights and obligations of a Party under an international agreement to which it and another Party are party.

This shows that this is truly and all or nothing approach.

Time Limit

Going even further, there is even a time limit to how long a country has to implement these laws:

4. With regard to obligations subject to a transition period, a Party shall fully implement its obligations under the provisions of this Chapter no later than the expiration of the relevant time period specified below, which begins on the date of entry into force of the Agreement for that Party.

Interestingly, though, these time limits only apply to certain countries. These countries are: Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, and Viet Nam. Each country has a large list of provisions and deadlines to meet.

The agreement ends with county specific obligations. Those countries include: New Zealand, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, and Peru (twice for some reason).

Final Thoughts

Consumer and digital rights organizations have called this final draft everything that they have feared coming to fruition. The EFF states that the leaked copy we just analyzed “confirms our worst fears about the agreement, and dashes the few hopes that we held out that its most onerous provisions wouldn’t survive to the end of the negotiations.”

From a consumer rights perspective, the EFF is correct on that assessment. If you support digital rights, this agreement represents a direct assault. It strips away many protections consumers have been given and implements laws that are extremely anti-consumer. Moreover, it’s extremely difficult to see how this is a trade agreement because there’s very little about this chapter that has to do with international trade. Instead, it seems to be more of a method to import undesirable laws from an international body, circumventing the standard methods of lawmaking (namely governmental representatives of the people writing the laws). At this point, making the argument that the TPP is simply about international trade after all of this is a position that is so difficult to maintain, it borders on extreme delusion. This agreement is about lawmaking. Everything above is either mostly about lawmaking, or is exclusively about lawmaking. The laws being proposed here is about serving corporate interests behind closed doors – a departure of what democracy is all about.

 

 

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