WIkileaks Revelations Confirms the Worst: US Negotiators Treat Internet Freedom Like a Bargaining Chip
After years of secret trade negotiations over the future of intellectual property rights (and limits on those rights), the public gets a chance to looks at the results. For those of us who care about free speech and a balanced intellectual property system that encourages innovation, creativity, and access to knowledge, it’s not a pretty picture.
On Thursday, Wikileaks published a complete draft of theTrans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement’s chapter on “intellectual property rights.” The leaked text, from August 2013, confirms long-standing suspicions about the harm the agreement could do to users’ rights and a free and open Internet. From locking in excessive copyright term limits to further entrenching failed policies that give legal teeth to Digital Rights Management (DRM) tools, the TPP text we’ve now seen reflects a terrible but unsurprising truth: an agreement negotiated in near-total secrecy, including corporations but excluding the public, comes out as an anti-user wish list of industry-friendly policies.