We didn't know how much copyright maximalists longed for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement—until we saw this creepy "open love letter" to the TPP from one of the biggest, most powerful copyright lobby groups, the Global Intellectual Property Center. We couldn't have made this up if we tried. Here's one part of it:
You know, dear TPP, that I will drop to one knee and say “I do” for gold—no, diamond—standards for intellectual property. My creative and innovative talents need your protection. Without trade agreements like you, it would be a long, hard journey to jumpstart our economies.
If you didn't know about the harms the TPP would do to our digital rights, this would look like the copyright industry writing an amusing blog post that just turned out strange. But if you think about how this massive secret deal is a long-term scheme to undermine democratic rules and rights we have as users, it comes across as just plain vulgar. This is Hollywood lobbyists playfully celebrating their cozy relationship with secret trade negotiations and the hold they have on our state officials. Think about that.
Ever since we got the first leak of the secret TPP text in 2011, we've known that this massive 12-nation trade deal was being built as a trojan horse for Hollywood's wish list of anti-user policies. Every leaked draft of the TPP's Intellectual Property chapter has only confirmed these fears. The deal has continued to include strict copyright provisions, including those that ban the circumvention of DRM, incentivize Internet services to block and filter content, extend copyright term lengths, and further criminalize file sharing around the world.
The TPP really is Hollywood's ideal partner in its scheme to enact increasing restrictions on the Internet, and copyright industry lobbyists are completely shameless about it. We need to stop this cycle of secretive policy laundering, and prevent our policymakers from passing ever more draconian copyright rules that restrict our freedom.
If you're in the US, take action to stop TPP and other anti-user trade deals from getting fast tracked through Congress by contacting your lawmaker about trade promotion authority: