Discontent With Secrecy And One-Sided Nature Of TPP Spreads Among Participating Nations

from the partnership-of-the-unequal dept

Last week Mike wrote how frustration at the unremitting secrecy surrounding TPP, and the refusal to allow members of the public in whose name it is being negotiated to express their views, has led to the creation of a new participatory Web site by the “Fair Deal Coalition.” Many of the best-known groups fighting for more balanced copyright laws in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have signed up, including Techdirt.

But they are not the only ones that have had enough of this lack of transparency. An interesting article in the leading Malaysian newspaper The Star shows that people there too are getting fed up with being kept in the dark, even as negotiations are taking place in their country behind closed doors:

Based on a blog post last week, [former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad] seems to be more vehemently opposed to the talks than the 70 other NGOs against it.

“A partnership of the unequal, of the strong to take advantage of the weak,” he wrote.

Twelve countries, including Japan, the latest to join the group are involved in the 18th round of talks targeted to be concluded by October.

The United States and the others — Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Chile and Canada — are believed to have concluded discussions on 14 of the 29 chapters.

For those who are against it, the major point of contention is the lack of transparency.

But it’s not just about the secrecy. The same article notes that another high-ranking figure has come out against TPP for different reasons:

Chile’s former chief negotiator [for TPP], Rodrigo Contreras, who quit in February, dropped a bombshell by openly denouncing the pact.

“It is a threat to our countries. It will restrict our options for development in health and education, in biological and cultural diversity, design of public policies and the transformation of our economies,” he wrote in Peru’s Caretas weekly.

If enough influential people in other countries taking part in the negotiations start to voice their concerns, meeting that October deadline for finalizing the agreement will start to look even more unrealistic than it does now.

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Comments on “Discontent With Secrecy And One-Sided Nature Of TPP Spreads Among Participating Nations”

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16 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

You’re right, we need more balanced copyright. It’s currently one sided, it lasts way too short. It should be extended to forever minus a day. Plus everything should be copyright and it should be impossible to opt out. If caught infringing the government should put you in jail forever. Glyn, you are using words and words should be covered by copyright. You’re infringing and you should be criminalized. In fact, I’m a criminal too for posting this.

out_of_the_blue says:

WHAT exactly are the "more balanced copyright laws" you favor?

At least a couple of us have long been asking for details! After 15 years of Mike studying the problem, what the HECK is Techdirt’s position? I’d like a list of bullet points, even from a minion. — You guys give no more specifics than the TPP gang! — We’re left to deduce from the constant support of piracy and pirate sites, especially The Pirate Bay and Megaupload, that your actual position is only for WEAKENING copyright.

But hey, I do admire the self-inflation of your phrase: “best-known groups … including Techdirt.”

FOR THE RECORD: I’m certain that TPP is only in the interests of various corporate cartels and gov’t, not the people, and so I oppose it, while yet FOR reasonable copyright derived from common law.

CK20XX (profile) says:

Re: WHAT exactly are the "more balanced copyright laws" you favor?

Huh… you seem to be getting slightly more rational, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Is there any reason Techdirt needs to have a yes/no position though? Can’t it just report facts and developments as they pop up, like journalism sites are supposed to? Really, your demands still sound unreasonable.

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: WHAT exactly are the "more balanced copyright laws" you favor?

Ive noted this before…Techdirt has a clear copyright stance. See my post here: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130507/17274422984/house-judiciary-committee-sets-up-first-hearing-copyright-reform.shtml#c135

The problem you have is that you assume that the purpose of copyright is to make money for rights holders (rather than promote science and the useful arts), and that any thing that takes power away from rightsholders and gives it to the public is wrong.

Your idea of balance appears to be to keep piling on benefits to rightsholders. However the legal contract we established to promote creation, creativity and innovation is currently being used to stifle free speech, slow the pace of innovation, and Hamper creativity and creation. Techdirt points out where this is happening to highlight the need for solid protection of Fair Use, De Minimus useage, and the public domain, as well as a reduction in copyright terms which last long beyond the financial interest in most copywritten works.

Take Sony’s rationalle that the PS4 isn’t going to be backwards compatible, because their isn’t enough market for it. They have included some streaming process and are considering some emulation, but the market wasn’t worth designing the console to read and play these games. The market for them is small. PSN Classics on PS3/Vita went from “EVERY WEEK” to “whenever we kinda feel like it” because even though porting them isn’t too hard or expensive, PSN classics didn’t sell well enough. But its still a good Century before these games become Public domain. Will they still exist? Optical Media is a relatively fragile data storage medium. How much of these games will last that long? As Fan Fiction indicates, there is a wealth of creation that can happen around these games, but they will be locked up till long past memory of them fades.

But no, balance has nothing to do with the public’s rights.

Anonymous Coward says:

and which country is behind all these ‘closed talks’? which country is doing this to ensure that it’s people, companies and industries get priority treatment over all others and decide the rules used against other participating countries? which country uses threats against any country that disagrees with what the originating country wants? which country doesn’t give a flyin’ fuck what happens to anyone/anything in any other country, so long as the originator of the whole screw over pact has no detrimental effects?
you got it!! god ol’ US of A!! the hub of democracy (i don’t think!!)!!

Anonymous Coward says:

“A partnership of the unequal, of the strong to take advantage of the weak” – *former* Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

“It is a threat to our countries. It will restrict our options for development in health and education, in biological and cultural diversity, design of public policies and the transformation of our economies.” – Chile’s *former* chief negotiator for TPP, Rodrigo Contreras

Are there any quotes by *current* government employees? Was the latter one, Rodrigo, replaced with someone with a more favorable stance towards TPP or did Chile do the right thing and walk away from negotiating this corporate toilet paper? Lastly, if it’s done in secrecy, it’s no law and nobody should feel obligated to obey any of its (draconian) rules and prohibitions.

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