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WikiLeaks release of TPP Intellectual Property chapter

WikiLeaks release of TPP Intellectual Property chapter confirms agreement threatens Canada’s Internet freedom

Confirmed: retroactive 20 year copyright term extensions, new rules that would induce ISPs to block websites, and criminal penalties for the circumvention of digital locks


January 30, 2014 – This morning, WikiLeaks released the final version of the TPP’s Intellectual Property Chapter, just days after Trade Minister Ed Fast’s promise to release “a provisional copy” of the text for public scrutiny.

Internet freedom group OpenMedia warns that the leak confirms Internet advocates greatest fears, including: new provisions that would induce Internet Service Providers to block websites without a court ruling, 20-year retroactive copyright term extensions, and new criminal penalties for the circumvention of digital locks. Reacting to the leak, OpenMedia’s Digital Rights Specialist Meghan Sali had this to say:

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“Canadians are going to see their democratically-created laws over-written in favour of laws that benefit giant, U.S. media conglomerates and censor the Internet,” Sali said. “And while the government has been busy trying to convince Canadians of the so-called benefits of this pact, they’ve silently traded away our digital future behind closed doors.”

A statement released days ago by the New Zealand government, estimates the cost of copyright term extension for everyday New Zealanders at $55 million a year. Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law Michael Geist suggests the cost to Canadians could be to the tune of hundreds of millions per year. The leaks also reveal that while other countries such as New Zealand and Malaysia were able to negotiate to phase in changes to copyright terms, Canada will be accepting new, retroactive terms with no transition period.

Throughout the TPP negotiations, OpenMedia has led a community of 3 million people opposing the TPP’s Internet censorship provisions, delivered citizen voices directly to TPP negotiators, led light projection demonstrations in Washington, DC, and initiated a dozens of other campaigns to raise awareness of the agreement’s extreme secrecy and threats to the open Internet. The group is calling for the full text to be made available to Canadians before the federal election on October 19.

ENDS

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