November 22, 2013: Today the Fair Deal Coalition has called on Governments involved in the TPP negotiations to reject copyright proposals that would limit the open Internet, access to knowledge, and curtail economic opportunity.
The Coalition, made up of Internet users, schools, universities, artists, libraries and archives, organisations assisting the visually-impaired, consumers, information technology firms and Internet businesses, has written an open letter to the Governments involved in the negotiations following the leaking of the chapter of the TPP relating to IP and copyright.
Coalition members say that leaked text confirmed fears that the TPP would reduce people’s access to information and restrict their ability to innovate, both on and offline, if a number of the draft copyright provisions were agreed to. The problematic provisions more often than not come from the United States and Australia. The Coalition cautions against the negative impact these provisions would have and urges Governments to agree to alternative proposals.
“Freedom of access to information on the web drives cultural, technological and scientific advances. On behalf of more than 11 million library users in Australia alone, we stand firm against these proposals to limit access to information on the Internet.” Sue McKerracher, Executive Director, Australian Library and Information Association.
“There are still proposals on the table that could criminalise activities of small businesses and private citizens as well as ones that would ban parallel imports” said Trish Hepworth, from the Australian Digital Alliance. “From the leaked text, Australia is agreeing to provisions that would extend our international obligations and reduce domestic flexibility, in the context of an agreement that is fundamentally unbalanced.”
‘EFA is very disappointed that the Australian government appears to have adopted a position with regard to the Intellectual Property chapter of the TPP Agreement negotiations that is clearly against the interests of Australian consumers, technology innovators and content creators. As a net importer of content, strict copyright enforcement mechanisms are self-evidently not in Australia’s economic, social or cultural interests, would restrict freedom of expression and would create significant impediments to the continued development of the Australian digital economy and the high-value jobs that would involve”
A Choice petition to release the full TPP text has been signed by over 10,000 people.
The open letter, co-signed by all participants calls upon the Governments of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States to promote access to knowledge, innovation, and economic opportunity, respect fundamental rights like due process, privacy, and free speech and recognise the realities and opportunities of the Internet.
About the Our Fair Deal International coalition
Starting at first in New Zealand and then connecting with organizations and people internationally, a group of individuals from the fields of Internet policy, art, information technology and law got together to discuss a TPP campaign with a copyright focus. What resulted was the idea of a fair deal, one that opens up trade opportunities for TPP member states but doesn’t force copyright and other IP-related changes on us that could damage our future.
Members of the Fair Deal coalition include:
Affinity Bridge, Article 19, Australian Digital Alliance, Australian Library & Information Association, Association for Progressive Communications (APC), Internet NZ, BCFIPA, The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), Consumer NZ, Consumers International, Council of Canadians, Creative Freedom, Demand Progress, Derechos Digitales, Electronic Frontiers Australia, Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF), Engine.is, Fight for the Future, FreePress, Gen Why Media, Hiperderecho, Library & Information Society of New Zealand, Movements for the Internet Active Users, NZRise, NZOSS, OpenMedia.org, Public Citizen, Public Knowledge, Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, Scoop, Tech Liberty NZ, TechDirt, Tuanz, Tucows, TradeMe