Still Plenty To Be Concerned About With TPP
from the being-more-public-would-be-good dept
While we are encouraged by the USTR’s supposed recognition of the importance of limitations and exceptions in copyright law in their latest TPP draft proposal, there are still significant concerns about the TPP agreement, as a whole, including with the very specifics of the language around exceptions and limitations. Already, a few folks who have been burned before by the USTR are worried that the language being used is so narrow as to only allow fair use-like exceptions in a very narrow set of circumstances. Furthermore, as Sean Flynn lays out, there are many other key issues at stake in the specifics of the text around the IP provisions, way beyond just the limitations and exceptions. These include questions about the copyright status of “temporary copies” (think cached copies), parallel importation (“gray market”), copyright term extension, digital locks and a few other things as well.
You know what would make it so that people weren’t so damned concerned about all of this? Opening up the proposed text so that the public can comment on it and give feedback. The fact that the USTR was willing to reveal that it’s included a section on limitations and exceptions was nice… but, in part, helped to show the problem: that the USTR only gets to reveal little bits of info it wants to reveal, rather than presenting the document in an open fashion for public comment. That’s not transparent at all. We’re encouraged to hear that the USTR did share the “exceptions and limitations” language with some who weren’t part of the formal “advisory committee” process, but we’re still not talking about an open and transparent process — and without that there are all sorts of opportunities for problems to arise.