The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been released and, as expected, content and tech companies are celebrating its protections -- or what some critics call overprotection -- of intellectual property, including online.
TPP is a historic Pacific Rim trade agreement with 11 other countries that TV and film producers have been pushing as a way to expand trade and access to Asia-Pacific markets.
In June, Congress voted to give President Obama fast-track trade promotion authority (TPA) to negotiate trade deals, including the TPP.
“We welcome the release of the TPP agreement," said Motion Picture Association of America President Chris Dodd. "Enacting a high-standard TPP with strong copyright protections is an economic priority for the American motion picture and television industry, which registered nearly $16 billion in exports in 2013 and supports nearly two million jobs throughout all 50 states. The TPP reaffirms what we have long understood -- that strengthening copyright is integral to America’s creative community and to facilitating legitimate international commerce..."
“Today’s release of the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a major milestone in the effort to expand free trade along the Pacific Rim,” said Linda Moore, president of TechNet, whose executive council members include representatives of Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm. “An effective agreement could dramatically expand cross-border data flows and help ensure American technology leadership around the globe, helping to create jobs here at home.”
Congress must still debate the TPP agreement, which was struck last month.
The President was stumping for the TPP deal in an e-mail Thursday. "[T]he TPP means that America will write the rules of the road in the 21st century," he wrote. "When it comes to Asia, one of the world’s fastest-growing regions, the rulebook is up for grabs. And if we don’t pass this agreement--if America doesn’t write those rules--then countries like China will."
Fight for the Future, already a vocal critic of TPP, was not happy with the entirety of the text (some language had already been leaked on WikiLeaks).
“Now that we can read the final TPP text, it's obvious why it was kept in total secrecy for so long: this agreement is a wish list for powerful special interests and multinational corporations," said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. "The Intellectual Property chapter confirms our worst fears about the TPP's impact on our basic right to express ourselves and access information on the Internet. If U.S. Congress signs this agreement despite its blatant corruption, they'll be signing a death warrant for the open Internet and putting the future of free speech in peril.”
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.