[A2k] Intellectual Property & TPP

Denise Nicholson Denise.Nicholson at wits.ac.za
Sat Feb 19 04:34:45 PST 2011

Hi Daniel,
Please get a strong lobby going against the TRIPS Plus IP Chapter of the FTA.  Have a look at all the documentation and debates that went on in Australia after the Government signed the US FTA.  Matthew Rimmer and Eve Woodberry in Australia are two people I know who were very active in objecting to the FTA but it was too late, as the Government and US had negotiated this behind closed doors (this is the way they negotiate these FTAs).   The IP Chapter had major implications for access to information, particularly for education, libraries, researchers, etc. Extension of copyright term to 70 years also had a negative affect as Australia is generally a net importer of intellectual property.  
Morrocco was pressured into signing a US FTA and extended its copyright law.  In the ACA2K research project (www.aca2k.org)  of 8 countries in Africa, Morocco and other countries that had adopted extended copyright laws found that the extension had exacerbated problems around access to information - and not improved matters for authors or users of information. In fact recommendations were made that if it were possible, that the copyright term should be made 50 years after the authors' death, as is the standard requirement of international IP agreements. 
In South Africa, I personally had a number of meetings with our Chief Foreign Trade Negotiator, Mr. Carim, and officials of our Copyright Office in the Dept. of Trade & Industry in 2005/06. I stressed the urgency of the matter when the US was trying to pressure South Africa and four other neighbouring countries (making up the Southern African Customs Union (SACU))  into a FTA.  I provided him with lots of documents and a presentation on the implications of the IP Chapter for SA and its neighbouring countires. I showed him the negative impact it has had on Australia but also pointed out that the IP Chapter would be most detrimental to developing countries. I stressed that if SA adopted the IP Chapter, it would set a precedent for other African countries and this would not be in the interests of SA or the continent of Africa. At the time of my communications with Mr. Carim and officials of our Copyright office, I also was invited by UK DFID and USAID to discuss the implications of a TRIPS Plus for SA and the other countries. They then placed it on the agenda when they engaged with our Foreign Trade Office.  In the end, after strong lobbying, Mr. Carim assured me that SA and the other SACU countries would not adopt the IP Chapter.  Fortunately, SA and the other 4 countries decided to decline the whole US FTA.
If you want any information or documentation on thi, please email me directly on denise.nicholson at wits.ac.za. A librarian in Uruguay found this information very useful when engaging with her Government on FTA issues. 
Denise Nicholson
Copyright Services Librarian,
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
South Africa. 


From: a2k-bounces at lists.keionline.org on behalf of daniel at derechosdigitales.org
Sent: Fri 2/18/2011 14:58
To: a2k at lists.keionline.org; a2k at lists.consumersinternational.org
Subject: [A2k] Intellectual Property & TPP

During this week was held in Santiago,  Chile the V Round of
Negotiations for the extension of the Trans Pacific Partnership
Agreement of Free Trade (known as TPP), signed by Brunei, Chile, New
Zealand and Singapore (P4) in 2005, which seek to join the United
States, Australia, Peru, Vietnam and Malaysia.

According to published reports, the new multilateral agreement would
mean the creation of a broad free trade area between some of the
largest economies in America and Asia, and would include, among other
regulations, new international rules on intellectual property.

For ONG Derechos Digitales, the establishment of new obligations on
intellectual property in general and in particular copyright- in a new
free trade agreement is a matter of great concern. Over the past
decade, Chile incorporated into domestic law provisions that are above
international standards agreed at the World Intellectual Property
Organization and the World Trade Organization, as a result of
obligations under the Free Trade Agreement signed with the United
States in 2003.

Therefore, we call upon the Government of Chile to don't undertake to
negotiate or accept any new obligations that may affect the rights of
users and domestic consumers by excessive protection of intellectual
property. Instead, we encourage our country to promote standards that
balance the legitimate rights and interests of stakeholders, such as
strengthening the public domain, stablishment of exceptions and
limitations to copyright that allow fair use exceptions, regulation
of orphan works  and   express establishment of  judicial system of
notification and download allegedly infringing content on the
Internet, among other provisions that consider public interests
involved in the regulation of copyright.



Daniel Alvarez Valenzuela
ONG Derechos Digitales

A2k mailing list
A2k at lists.keionline.org

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