When most people think of a trade agreement, they're unlikely to think that it would have anything to do with regulating the Internet. For more than a decade however, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has included copyright enforcement in international trade deals. Such provisions empower countries to enact digital restrictions in the name of preventing illegal file sharing. In practice, these copyright measures strip Internet users of their rights to privacy, free speech, and access to knowledge and culture, and could even work to undermine their very purpose of enabling and promoting innovation and creativity.
Such provisions closely mirror the language carried in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Up to this point, we have already seen over 15 years of harmful effects due to the DMCA and now there are widespread efforts in the U.S. to reform it. It's therefore both improper and contradictory for the U.S. Trade Rep to push the U.S. copyright system around the world when our own government recognizes that our system is defective.
This new animated video explains how two provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement's intellectual property chapter threaten users' rights. First, it creates legal incentives for Internet and online service providers to police their users' activities for copyright infringement. Second, the TPP carries rigid protections for digital rights management (DRM) in ways that could create expansive chilling effects for anyone who wishes to legally share and interact with their content and devices.
Please share this video, spread the word about this secretive multinational trade agreement, and let others know how they can help fight it.
You can express your concern about these problems — and others — that arise from a secret copyright agenda driving international agreements by signing our petition to stop it.
Wherever you are in the world, you can sign on to this petition directed at decision-makers to demand a Fair Deal.
If you’re in the U.S., take our action to send a message to your representative to demand an end to these secret backroom negotiations.
If you're in Peru, join Hiperderecho and tell the Peruvian president that our rights on the Internet are non-negotiable.
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Our website “Why the Heck Should I Care About the TPP?” lays out some of the worst consequences for Internet users if this agreement were to pass.