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TPP Defenders Take To The Internet To Deliver Official Talking Points; Inadvertently Confirm Opponents' Worst Fears

The leaked TPP draft, pried loose from the "open and transparent" grip of the USTR, is generating plenty of commentary all over the web. After getting a good look inside, it's little wonder the USTR felt more comfortable trying to push this through under the cover of darkness.

As the criticism of the push for IP maximalism mounts, the treaty's defenders have leapt into the fray, hoping to assure everyone who wasn't previously aware of the treaty's contents (which is pretty much everyone) that there's nothing to see here and please move along.

Mike recently broke down the ridiculous claims and posturing of the USTR's "talking points." Amanda Wilson Denton, counsel to the IIPA (International Intellectual Property Alliance) has showed up right on cue to "set the record straight" on the leaked TPP draft. Let's see how well she followed the talking points. (Talking points in bold.)

     

The Draft Is Already Outdated

    The only thing that can certainly be said about this draft is that it does not reflect the current state of the negotiations...

    If it is what it purports to be, the draft reveals a snapshot in time of the ongoing work of the participating countries to hammer out an agreement in Intellectual Property Rights…

Sure, it's only a "snapshot." But unless everything's changed since then, it's a very representative snapshot of the involved countries' stances on IP issues. Just because the work is "ongoing" doesn't mean its improving.

     

What It Would Not Require: Changes to U.S. IP Law

    While it is impossible to say right now what a TPP IP chapter would do, experience provides an answer for what it would not do -- since the U.S. began negotiating FTAs again in 2000, no FTA has required a change to U.S. intellectual property law.

    The U.S. proposals mirror the current duration of copyright in U.S. law. They track the provisions already agreed in previous FTAs regarding the technologies that rights holders use to control access to their works and limitations on liability to benefit ISPs, including the FTA agreed between the United States and Korea that entered into force in 2012…

    In sum, the putative U.S. positions revealed in the leaked text would be consistent with U.S. law and prior free trade agreements approved by Congress, and most importantly would help to achieve better copyright protection among our trading partners…

    While we understand that there are parties that don't like present U.S. law and policy, this leaked text demonstrates a fealty to existing U.S. law, and not an abandonment thereof.

So, if you love current US IP law (and wish it would be expanded), you'll love the TPP. If you don't, well… get used to it. The US is running your IP show now, foreigners.

Denton does admit there is one change to existing US law, something only a maximalist would be happy to see -- a provision that would allow rights holders to pursue criminal charges against those who "aid and abet" copyright infringement. Great news! That means you no longer have to actually infringe to be held criminally accountable. All you have to do is be adjacent to it.

[Story Continues here]

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