The controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) has once again leaked. The freshly leaked details re-confirms some of human rights and activists worst fears about the Intellectual Property chapter. We go in-depth into this secretive agreement to show what (if any) has changed and what remains on this secret agreement between countries around the world.
There may be many news stories that surface on broadcast media in your area. However, what is not likely to appear in local newspapers or mainstream news broadcast is the latest revelations coming from the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (or, as it is commonly referred to, the TPP in short). Major multinational corporations have direct access to it along with top negotiators who represent each individual country involved, but common citizens and even elected members of government are shut out of the process. How do we have access to some details of this agreement? It’s all thanks to Wikileaks which released a leaked copy of the updated draft agreement. We present to you full coverage of what is in this agreement as we read the details ourselves. For better referencing, we shall refer to the PDF version of this leaked copy.
Rightsholders have said for years that the Internet is little more than a vehicle for “stolen” merchandise. Still, few rightsholders these days are willing to take such a direct approach to stop file-sharing as Sabam has recently. The Belgium rightsholder organization is suing ISPs for selling access to the Internet without paying royalties to copyright holders.
Another person in New Zealand was fined under the New Zealand Three Strikes Law (or Skynet). This time, it was a member of the armed forces accused of downloading unauthorized works. He was fined $255.97 after receiving his third strike notice. The problem? He was serving his country in Afghanistan when the alleged infringement took place.
One of the many general criticisms of the three strikes law anywhere is that it would snag innocent people. In New Zealand, the Three Strikes law is guilt upon accusation, so it could even fine innocent people. That’s what happened to a soldier who was serving a tour in Afghanistan. He returned to New Zealand only to find that he received his third strike for copyright infringement. He was subsequently fined $255.97 because his guilt was simply presumed.
Some media outlets are picking a fight with the Australian government thanks to proposed laws that would increase oversight in the media. The government’s move was triggered by the phone hacking scandal in Britain. While a lot of attention was focused on regulations, the debate has taken a bizarre twist in which media executives are calling for a three strikes law “similar” to France, New Zealand, and the US.
Could Australia be the next targeted country to face intense lobbying to implement a three strikes law? That appears to be a real possibility if the latest reports are any indication. The Financial Review is reporting that Foztel CEO Richard Freudenstein is demanding that the Australian government put in place a three strikes law that is “similar” to France, the US and New Zealand. From the report:
For months, the six strike rule in the US was always on the horizon, but delays have kept the policy from being enforced. Now, one source is reporting that the six strike rule will begin as early as Monday.
The report comes from the Daily Dot. Here’s an excerpt from the report:
One of the main theories behind the three strikes law is that it would reduce piracy and stop the decline of music sales in the marketplace. France is one of the countries that first put a three strikes law in place for copyright infringement though HADOPI back in 2009. Fast forward to 2013, music sales continued to slide even after the laws were put in place.
HADOPI is one of the laws we’ve been tracking. Last month, procedural error sunk a would-be HADOPI conviction. For those that have followed HADOPI since 2009, that’s just one event in a long list of problems that faced both the law and the enforcement body. Still, that didn’t stop major record labels and movie studies from demanding similar laws be brought in to other countries. New Zealand followed suit with their own version of the three strikes law which was dubbed the “Skynet” law. While there conviction, the major record labels had to spend $250,000 to get a $616.57 fine. While large sums of money may be spent to achieve little results, the three strikes law concept has been dealt with a fresh blow – music sales are slumping even with a three strikes law in place.
New Zealand is one of the very few countries in the world to actually put in place a three strikes law. Next month, the law will be put to the test as hearings are set to take place against 11 alleged repeat copyright infringers. While there was originally going to be 17, 6 of these users will not have their case heard in the tribunal.
While the United States is still in the process of trying to implement a so-called “6 strike policy”, some Americans might be grateful that they don’t live in New Zealand where there is a “3 strike law” which not only has disconnection as a consequence, but thousands of dollars in fines as well. There’s been a lot of controversy over the “3 strikes law”. Some of the criticism was directed at the fact that strikes are issued on mere allegations – not proof verified in a court of law. The fact that a mere IP address is used as evidence was also the subject of criticism given that it doesn’t take into account things like WiFi hacking.
False Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices have been circulating the Internet for years. While many free speech advocates have said that this problem is putting a chill on free speech and putting into question whether or not Fair Use has any teeth anymore, it seemed that very little was done about it. More recently, the subject of false takedown notices have become the subject of a DMCA exemption hearing.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently posted a reminder that current and existing copyright laws in the US have remained problematic. In the example they cited, McIntosh posted a short film about gender roles in the Twilight series and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Lionsgate, the company that owns the rights to Twilight, subsequently sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube, ordering the video be taken down. YouTube, of course, complied with the request.
Like the TPP, CETA has had known leaks of its own in the past. It was these data leaks that have allowed activists to get a glimpse of what the otherwise secretive agreement is really about on some topics. It turned out, it carried the same sort of threats to the Internet as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that died in the European Union after intense opposition.
One of the major issues surrounding, among other things, Internet freedom revolves around a secretive agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Since there is interest to speed up the negotiating process, it doesn’t hurt to go back and look at a few reasons why the agreement is so controversial in the first place.