A leak of the most controversial section of the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty is making waves today. The documents, released on Wikileaks, reveals the most contentious parts of the treaty dealing with intellectual property rights. Some have gone so far as to call the language in this section of the document hauntingly similar to the language in SOPA.
The treaty, which has been negotiated in secret, aims to craft an agreement to expand economic ties between a dozen countries including Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, the United States, Vietnam, Mexico, Canada and New Zealand. The goal is to create a free trade, encourage investment, and craft understandings across a wide range of policy issues.
The treaty has been under negotiation for two and a half years and it is currently more than 1,000 pages long. The leaked chapter on IP covers DRM and other ‘technical measures,’ extended copyright terms, increased penalties for infringement and ISP liability, and expanded patents on technology and software.
The leaked document is getting its fair share of negativity from rights groups throughout the world.
Knowledge Ecology International says that TPP IPR chapter not only proposes the granting of more patents, expansion of rights holder privileges and increased penalties for infringement, but also plans the creation of intellectual property rights on data.
"The TPP text shrinks the space for exceptions in all types of intellectual property rights. Negotiated in secret, the proposed text is bad for access to knowledge, bad for access to medicine, and profoundly bad for innovation," KEI concludes in a statement.
Burcu Kilic, an intellectual property lawyer with Public Citizen, says that some of the proposals remind him of SOPA.
"The WikiLeaks text also features Hollywood and recording industry inspired proposals – think about the SOPA debacle – to limit Internet freedom and access to educational materials, to force Internet providers to act as copyright enforcers and to cut off people’s Internet access," Kilic says.
You can check out the leaked document on Wikileaks (PDF).