WikiLeaks releases major trade agreement draft chapter

The TPP, based on the draft chapter, seems set to be yet another boon for corporate interests

Topics: TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, intellectual copyright, Piracy, Copyright, Trade, corporate, WikiLeaks, , ,

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement — an international trade agreement some years in the making between major world powers including the U.S., Canada and Japan — has seemed in some minor jeopardy over revelations that the NSA has secretly been spying on ally world leaders. Secretary of State John Kerry has been in damage control mode to keep the deal afloat and on schedule.

On Tuesday, WikiLeaks offered a peak into the trade agreement, publishing a leaked draft chapter. Predictably, the TPP promises to be a deal in the interest of major corporations above consumers. Having received an exclusive early view of the draft from WikiLeaks, the Sydney Morning Herald called it a “bitter medicine.”

Via the Sydney Morning Herald:

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A leaked draft of a controversial chapter of the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement reveals the negotiating positions of 12 countries… on copyright, patents and other intellectual property issues, with a heavy focus on enforcement measures against internet piracy.

Intellectual property experts are critical of the draft treaty, which they say would help the multinational movie and music industries, software giants and pharmaceutical manufacturers to maintain and increase prices by reinforcing the rights of copyright and patent owners, clamping down on online piracy and raising obstacles to the introduction of generic drugs and medicines.

…An expert in intellectual property law, Matthew Rimmer, said the draft was “very prescriptive” and strongly reflected US trade objectives and multinational corporate interests “with little focus on the rights and interests of consumers, let alone broader community interests”.

“One could see the TPP as a Christmas wish-list for major corporations, and the copyright parts of the text support such a view,” Dr Rimmer said.
“Hollywood, the music industry, big IT companies such as Microsoft and the pharmaceutical sector would all be very happy with this.”

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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