TPP Negotiations Deprive New Zealanders Of Promised Copyright Consultation -- For Secret Reasons

from the national-sovereignty,-who-needs-it? dept

One of the myths perpetuated by governments taking part in major international treaty negotiations like ACTA, TPP and TAFTA/TTIP is that somehow no national sovereignty is given up during the process, and that therefore the public shouldn't worry about what goes on in those secret meetings. That's clearly absurd, because negotiations involve concessions, usually by the weaker parties, which often touch on national competences.

The reality -- that smaller countries lose some of their autonomy -- is illustrated starkly by what has just happened in New Zealand, as reported by The National Business Review:

New Zealand's copyright laws were meant to be reviewed this year, five years after the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act in 2008. The government, has decided not to stick to this timetable, waiting instead to know what terms it may have to agree to under the TPP.
That is, instead of consulting with the New Zealand public and other stakeholders about what form copyright fit for the digital age might take, the government there has cancelled all discussions, and is waiting meekly to be instructed by the TPP negotiators -- the US, in other words -- what changes they will be required to make to their legislation in order to comply with the treaty.

To add insult to injury, it seems that the New Zealand government won't even explain why exactly its electorate is being deprived of any say in the laws that will govern it:

Papers released under the Official Information Act last week reveal that the government will delay the 2013 copyright law review until "TPP negotiations have concluded". The reasons given for the delay have been removed from the public version of the document.
That really sums up the TPP negotiations: conducted in secret, coming to decisions that are then imposed on the public for reasons they are not allowed to know, regardless of previous plans and promises made by their governments. No wonder more and more people view trade agreements as lacking in any kind of legitimacy. Expect the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations to be exactly the same -- and for the same fatuous claims to be made by those taking part that national sovereignty is not being surrendered.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 6:08pm

    Secretive elites

    That's what happens you get when you let the guy from Merrill Lynch run your country.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 6:26pm

    Maybe they should just opt out if they don't like it.

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

  3. identicon
    Pixelation, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 6:38pm

    Secret is easier. Just ask the NSA.

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

  4. icon
    Nigel (profile), Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 6:49pm

    I will probably move my way up the list of NSA debauchery here but, I have been telling you kids for a while now, that nothing is going to change until we start setting some shit on fire.

    We have grossly exceeded discourse here. We the people need to camp the fuck out on some lawns.


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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 9:43pm

    They're about to be secretly exploited like the rest of us. :(

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

  6. identicon
    riii, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 10:08pm

    Are there any positives to be mentioned

    like TPP not happening?
    Every time I come here or torrentfreak I read we get a small victory but we are losing the war. Seems like we're just delaying a hell where the rich get away with anything and the middle/poor get 40+ yrs in jail for a 100% joke death threat or watching a illegal stream once for a minute.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 12:41am

    So, the NZ government has decided that corporate interest is more important than openness.

    Good to know.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 12:58am

    Don't forget that this is the same government that changed labour laws because Warner Bros execs flew in to say without the change the Hobbit movie would be made overseas.
    Most probably the same Warners execs that were on the launch with Tom Cruise and NZ Minister Gerry Brownlea at the Americas Cup the other day.

    So yeah, NZ chose corporate interest a while back.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 1:48am

    the really annoying things are that these 'negotiations are instigated by the USA, for the USA (and certain industries), and to the detriment of the other countries involved! why the hell do these other countries not grow a pair and stand up for their own citizens, their own country and tell the USA to 'take a hike'. do these other countries expect the USA to suddenly go to war with them? do they expect trade to cease (not much produced by the USA now that's worth having, anyway, is there?) not one of these 'negotiations' have been that. they have all been demands by the USA and the other countries end up trying to claw back everything they actually had to start with, but have just had taken away from them in a war executed around a table rather than on a traditional battlefield. the USA practice is reprehensible! the gutlessness of countries like NZ is equally as bad! time for some people to realise what is going on and stand up for their rights, although in the case of NZ the measure of their leader, from what i read elsewhere, is such that having a meeting with Obama was more like a school girl running after a rock band for an autograph, than any sort of meaningful discussion that could benefit in some way the people that Key represents!!

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

  10. identicon
    PRMan, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 7:44am


    But, it's a bit of a quandary, as New Zealand had a recession for a long time until the Lord of the Rings was filmed there. It has been better since.

    So, how bad is it to cave on a few copyright points if it ends a decades-long recession?

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

  11. icon
    ByteMaster (profile), Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 9:53am


    The problem is that the majority of VOTERS is still the sheeple (those born when electric typewriters were considered high-tech and before) and they care zero about copyright and know even less about it.

    That is why there's a rush now to create big fat nooses where they will stick our necks in. 20-30 years from now nothing can be done; like the Berne convention being part of TRIPs and TRIPs being mandatory to be part of the WTO. It's all inter-locking, think chains that are locked together with many padlocks, so even if one or two padlocks fail, it's still all held tightly together: either EVERYTHING needs to fail at the same time, or it will sail on as if nothing happened.

    The "solution" is to eventually come to a new set of trade agreements, which in article one declare any other, previous ones for null and void... the 1880's Berne convention to be named first.

    Yes, you read that right. The Berne convention which started the ridiculous idea of copyright lasting for half a decade while the creator's corpse started decaying in the ground was finalized mere DAYS after Geronimo surrendered at Skeleton Canyon, AZ.

    Geronimoooooo! should be the official Battle Cry for the Copyright Minimalists, referring to how old that archaic that bottom card, the Berne Convention, in the "IP" House of Cards is.

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

  12. identicon
    ss, Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 12:37pm


    Or maybe we should be made to know and be made apart of those things meant to serve us.

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

  13. icon
    gorehound (profile), Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 2:37pm


    So I have Stated as well but getting that to happen is another story.I have been trying and with no success to get people on board with a "Million Buds March" on Washington.Even the large Marijuana Legalization Groups won't sign on.

    And as far as the Spying and the Corrupted Lying (such as TPP) we will be extremely lucky to even get 100 people to "March" ...............not really much of a March but to me that is the Reality.
    We in the know are a vast Minority in this Land.90-95% of the people here are just Sheep.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2013 @ 4:10am


    That's one of the things corporations always manage to threaten in order to get governments to bend over backwards to please them. If you don't pass the laws we want we will close shop here and do business elsewhere. You will lose work and the unemployment rate in your location will go up. The result is one sided laws in favor of big executives against the public interest because politicians get all afraid of losing businesses in their area.

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2013 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re:

    Meh. Fine, have your consultations. Just understand that if you don't conform to the treaty terms, you're out on your ass. Not that anyone gives a shit.

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

  16. icon
    Bergman (profile), Aug 4th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The irony of that, is that if the little guy nations ever actually banded together, they could do exactly that to the United States.

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

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