April 11, 2012 | By Gwen Hinze and Maira Sutton

TPP: Continuing to Nudge Toward Agreement

Informal negotiations are underway in Chile this week on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Up for negotiation are provisions dealing with intellectual property – including online copyright enforcement, DMCA-style digital locks, and Internet intermediary liability.  

TPP countries are holding informal inter-sessional discussions this week to nudge countries closer to agreement on the controversial intellectual property provisions ahead of the next formal round of negotiations in May. While there is no public stakeholder forum, legal academics and civil society experts from various TPP countries are holding an informative seminar tomorrow [PDF] to highlight how leaked TPP texts would harm access to knowledge and affordable medicine.

The USTR has announced the dates for the next round of formal negotiations to take place in Dallas from May 8th through 18th 2012. However, unlike previous negotiation rounds, there will be no forum for stakeholders to present their views to the assembled TPP country negotiators. Instead, stakeholders are being asked to register their interest in sponsoring a table to provide negotiators who might so happen to stroll past with information on particular topics. The US Trade Representative’s Office has said it wants to finalize TPP by July.

UPDATE: There is a change of venue. It is now being held at Centro De Extension in Universidad Catolica, Sala Colorada (Alameda 390, Santiago). For more information go to the venue's website.

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Now is the time to make your voice heard! Contact your Congressional representative to demand that the USTR release the IP text that it has provided to other TPP negotiating countries and the rightsholder industry representatives on the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on IP for public comment.

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