The year’s most controversial secret treaty just became very, very public. WikiLeaks has posted a full copy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership proposals from this August, revealing many provisions that have only been seen by a small group of lobbyists and heads of state. Nothing in the text has been definitively agreed to, but it offers a rare look into the state of a treaty that could lock in a broad range of rules about information access, patents, and consumer hardware.
Critics have wasted no time in attacking the treaty, with IP reform group Knowledge Ecology International calling it “bad for access to knowledge, bad for access to medicine, and profoundly bad for innovation.” Many of the criticisms focus on the treaty’s “enforcement” section, which includes language that critics say mirrors similar provisions from America’s controversial SOPA and ACTA bills.
That includes provisions that would extend copyright to temporary copies of media, and others that place the burden of enforcement specifically on local ISPs, which critics say would further establish ISPs as a de facto copyright police. Other provisions would increase the software controls on consumer hardware.
“The anti-circumvention provisions seem to cement the worst parts of the anti-phone-unlocking law that we saw this summer,” says Matt Wood, policy director at Free Press. “We can’t change the US law if we’re locked into these international agreements.”
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