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.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or, and on Google+

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: copyright, new zealand, public interest, sovereignty, tpp

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 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!!

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.