Won't Somebody Think Of The Cows? New Zealand On The Brink Of Sacrificing Its Digital Future In TPP Negotiations

from the short-sighted-thinking dept

Even before Wikileaks released the full text of TPP’s IP chapter, New Zealand’s Creative Freedom Foundation had already been given some hints about what was coming:

Last week the Creative Freedom Foundation participated in a group briefing and Q&A session with David Walker, NZ’s Chief Negotiator in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, and officials Angela Strahl and Yvonne Woutersen.

The meeting made it quite clear that, although the details aren’t final, we can expect to lose many remix rights and see a greater ‘orphaned works’ problem here in New Zealand in exchange for more dairy exports to the U.S. Rather than further protecting artists’ rights, this move will prop up a fundamentalist approach to copyright that will drain the pool of works currently accessible to artists who wish to freely build upon them.

NZ’s Parallel Importing abilities are likely to stay unchanged, as is the ability to set our own limitations and exceptions to our domestic Copyright law. However, it was strongly hinted at that an extension of our Copyright Term is inevitable.

What the country’s TPP negotiators are effectively doing here is to surrender key rights that belong to all New Zealanders, for the sake of some minor, and probably temporary, financial gains for a single industry with powerful lobbyists. That’s a terrible bargain for the country’s future. If these concessions are made, it will not only impoverish artists and the general public, who will suddenly be prevented from using and building on vast swathes of the digital past, it will also make it far harder to set up 21st-century companies that are based on creativity, not cows.

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Comments on “Won't Somebody Think Of The Cows? New Zealand On The Brink Of Sacrificing Its Digital Future In TPP Negotiations”

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22 Comments
anon cow herd says:

NZ Ag exports

As an ag student in NZ, albeit decades back, exports have accounted for as much as 75% of the nations GDP, and the only thing keeping it’s balance of trade in anything like balance. I expect that percentage is lower now, but probably not as much as many might think.

NZ also has one of the best education systems around, and a highly educated population-I’ll be a little surprised if they don’t figure some of this out.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: NZ Ag exports

They did figure a way to ban software patents, they protested against ACTA and they gave birth to quite the successful FtP hack’n’slash, I think they know what to do.

Unfortunately, international agreements like TPP almost never get voted down, no matter the insanity-levels. Politicians are far too bought by local lobbies who have gotten their pet-bribes. The only question is if NZ has enough circulation for politicians to be more scared of voters than lobbies. In this case: If TPP is done within a year, the election could be quite interesting!

Steve (profile) says:

“What the country’s TPP negotiators are effectively doing here is to surrender key rights that belong to all New Zealanders, for the sake of some minor, and probably temporary, financial gains for a single industry with powerful lobbyists.”

You’ve completely misunderstood NZ here.

This isn’t “a small industry with powerful lobbyists” this is a massive industry that employs – directly or indirectly – the vast majority of the electorate.

The government is wrong, but it didn’t need any lobbying. We are almost completely dependent on Agriculture and Tourism, because we haven’t developed our high tech industry properly. Yes, we could make some long term gains (which I would like) by actually protecting our creative and copyright interests, but that would be political suicide for either of the major parties.

Anonymous Coward says:

NZ dairy

was around 25% of exports, last I heard. Major export markets include China, the US, Japan, the European Union, Malaysia, Australia, Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Belgium, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.

The medical and drug patents are more likely to bite NZ in the ass in the long term. Apparently, the US thinks that since they spend more per capita than anyone else on health care (for relatively poor results), then everyone else should have to pay more to even things out.

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