To Counter Secret Negotiations Over TPP, Coalition Sets Up Open Alternative
from the what-our-governments-should-be-doing dept
In response to this unnecessary and dangerous secrecy, a bunch of organizations have set up the "Fair Deal Coalition," and set up a website that basically does what the TPP and TAFTA negotiators should have been doing all along: creating an open platform, letting any stakeholder discuss the kind of things that should go into such an agreement. The specific tool is called Your Digital Future, and it focuses specifically on the copyright issue. The Coalition then plans to take the feedback generated via this process and deliver it to TPP negotiators.
Yes, those negotiators will likely pay little attention to it, but the real point is that this is what negotiators should have been doing from the start. You don't set up a small group of "industry advisory committees" that are heavily biased towards legacy industries (and, by the way, then block competent experts from more disruptive areas who apply to join those committees, as we've been hearing has been happening lately) and then don't let everyone else weigh in. Yes, the USTR says it will "listen" to anyone -- but how many people are willing to go to find a USTR official to talk to them?
Open the process up. Share what you're proposing in our name, and then let people discuss the proposals honestly. Without that, something like this alternative process is a weak stand-in for what a truly representative government should be doing.