Yes, You Can Have An Open And Transparent Treaty Negotiation For Intellectual Property

from the proof-is-in-the-pudding dept

We had mentioned along with the news that the WIPO treaty for the blind had been signed in Marrakech that it proved that -- contrary to the claims of the USTR -- that you don't need to keep negotiations of an intellectual property treaty secret. Sean Flynn has now expanded on this to debunk the USTR's clearly untrue assertion.
The elements of WIPO’s transparency processes are varied. they start with ongoing releases of draft negotiating documents dating back to the beginning of the process.  ACTA was marked by releases of negotiating texts only through leaks, until the EU parliament demanded increased transparency – after which point negotiators released four public texts in the final 12 months. The TPP negotiators claim they will complete their treaty this October (which no one believes). There has not been a single public release of text, thus failing to live up to even the meager standard for public releases that defined ACTA. The leaked texts of TPP that we have show a secret agreement to keep the texts of the proposals being considered until four years AFTER the conclusion of the agreement. Thus, even subsequent interpreters of the TPP may be prevented from seeing its legislative history.

WIPO webcasted negotiations, and even established listening rooms where stakeholders could hear (but not be physically present in) break rooms where negotiators were working on specific issues. ACTA was not subject to any observation of negotiating rooms by non-parties. TPP negotiators even rejected a request by a U.S. Congressman to observe a negotiation.

WIPO set up a system of open and transparent structured stakeholder input, including published reports and summaries of stakeholder working groups composed of commercial and non-commercial interests alike. ACTA was, and TPP is, informed by structured input from multinational corporations who receive secret drafts of texts and submit reports to the United States Trade Representative.  There are no consumer representatives among these advisers and none of their reports are public.

Transparency in WIPO continued through the final days of intense, often all night, negotiations in the final diplomatic conference. When negotiators reached a new breakthrough on the language concerning the controversial “3-step test” limiting uses of limitations and exceptions in national laws, that news was released to the public (enabling public news stories on it), along with the draft text of the agreement. There are now reports that a majority of the chapters of the TPP are concluded, and perhaps a majority of the articles in the IP section – but the public has no public text to see what those agreements might be.
The list goes on and on and the contrast is incredibly clear. The USTR is being misleading to downright dishonest in suggesting that it couldn't possibly have the same level of transparency in the negotiations around agreements like the TPP or ACTA (or the upcoming TAFTA).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 8:19pm

    "Yes, You Can Have An Open And Transparent Treaty Negotiation For Intellectual Property"


    Ha ha ha ha! Mike, you are a laugh riot. The current Entertainment funded government won't ever allow it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 8:24pm

    lessons of history forgotten....

    Government is supposed to be by,of, and for the people...
    Otherwise those pesky things like Declaration of Independence tend occur. Pesky to those that think they're better than the rest, that is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 8:27pm

    Re:

    Mostly because despite what the anti techdort trolls will tell you people naturally object to the extremism of the MPAA/RIAA/BSA

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:34pm

    out of control

    This ustr is completely rogue. Not only are they negotiating without being given instructions from congress. Not only are they not consulting with congress. They have persisted despite congressional reps on the left (warren) and right (issa) asking what the heck they think they're up to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 11:55pm

    the problem with your examples

    is that in the eyes of ip maximalists both these open treaties failed to increase ip protection for the few . They will be viewed as failures because the public got to see what was being written. Though we pay the negotiators they do not work for us, they work for a few large businesses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    haiku, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 12:49am

    Re:

    +100

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 1:54am

    Though again with what we've learned about the US and it's global spying, some countries might be reconsidering the TPP...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2013 @ 2:08am

    if negotiations are being conducted in secret and the biggest section (the public and/or representatives) is not party to those negotiations but some commercial, very interested parties that continuously fight against the biggest section (the public and/or representatives) are part of those negotiations, then there is underhand, one sided discussions going on that will definitely adversely impact that biggest section. if that was not the case, there would not be any reason to continuously stop the biggest section (the public and/or representatives) from attending those discussions and having input, the same as the other sections present. these, like all 'negotiations' that will be detrimental to the public, have to be done so no one knows what the hell is going on for fear of one or more of the commercial interests having to do something to cater for the very section (the public and/or representatives) they rely on to carry on trading and being profitable. it's about time these type of 'trade deals' were outlawed! they aren't deals, they are nothing short of one-sided, imposed regulations that only account for what companies and industries want!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Anonymous Howard (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 2:25am

    Re: Re:

    The USTR is right. They could not concoct a trade treaty like TPP transparently, because it would cause public outrage (as the ustr rep. said)

    That doesn't mean they should do it in secret. That means they're working against the public interest and should earn a bullet in their head for their "service"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 4:12am

    Yes, we can.

    Except that the ones in power think otherwise.

    Can we have more transparency in Govt? More support for whistleblowers? More respect towards the Bill of Rights, the Constitution? Yes we can. But only till we are in power. Then you can say "No, YOU cannot."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 4:49am

    Re:

    Well, if they won't consult with the People, why would the people 'consent' to be governed by the treaty?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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