TPP IP Provisions: Past Internet Control Efforts In Sheep's Clothing?

Trans-Pacific Partnership foes have begun to invoke the past in their efforts to dash support of a free trade agreement on the basis that it at the very least violates Internet users' rights, among other things. The evolving TPP free trade treaty's intellectual property provisions threatens to bring back debate over failed international efforts to "beef up" IP standards, forcing service providers to police the web. 

Said the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Maira Sutton to PoliticoPro recently: "TPP is the new ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) ... It’s very much biased to Hollywood and would ratchet up copyright enforcement at any cost."

EFF recently circulated a letter compelling the Obama administration to resist trading away Americans' digital rights.

That the TPP negotiations have been shrouded in secrecy is not winning the White House a lot of friends, especially among consumer and Internet activists.

Observed Jodie Griffin with consumer protection group Public Knowledge: "The negotiators from the U.S. will listen, but without transparency being a two-way street, there’s no way to know it we’re having an impact."

Guess it all depends on what side you're on, right? The motion picture industry association's reps would beg to differ. But what would you expect?

EFF and Public Knowledge do face stiff competition from the other side of the coin. Even Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Republican Orrin Hatch see a need for firmer IP international laws.

"Given the significance of TPP, and with countries like China and India watching closely, the United States cannot afford to get this wrong ...We strongly urge you to ensure that the TPP achieves comprehensive, strong, binding and enforceable intellectual property provisions," they wrote in a recent letter, according to Politico.

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