Rumble Down Under: Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam Slams Government Over TPP

According to this Computer World Australia report, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has some harsh words for the Australian federal government for its part in pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is currently in negotiations in the U.S. The treaty is an agreement between Pacific Rim countries such as Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the U.S. The secrecy of TPP negotiations has been widely criticized and a recent leak of some draft text from those negotiations has shown that both Australia and the U.S. are pushing for strong copyright infringement measures.

In his remarks, Ludlam blasted the Australian Federal Government for trying to lock Australia into what he considers a "dead-end copyright treaty."

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, if the USA gets its way, will cause huge problems for Australians, but our Federal Government is backing Washington to the hilt,” he said in a statement. "Not content with supporting the ill-fated Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement [ACTA], which would endanger the legal status of generic medicines and was overwhelmingly rejected by the European Parliament, the trade minister is now pushing for an Agreement that offers no protection for copyright exceptions enshrined in Australian law.

"ACTA was an absolute dud, and the Government wanted to jump on board before the Australian Law Reform Commission's inquiry had even warmed up," he added.

Ludlam goes on to say that Australian copyright laws and the civil liberties of its citizens are being put at risk by TPP negotiators.

"New Zealand, with the support of Chile, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam, proposed this clause to permit a signatory to ‘carry forward and appropriately extend into the digital environment limitations and exceptions in its domestic laws'. Only the United States and our own government oppose this perfectly reasonable provision. Why is the Government promoting the erosion of our independence in this way?” he said.

Source: Computer World Australia

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