Agreement on TPP trade deal may affect digital rights

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6 October 2015 | 0

Twelve countries representing nearly 40% of the global economy have reached basic agreement on an expansive new trade deal called the Trans Pacific Partnership — and the deal may have implications for some digital rights.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he had confirmation from the country’s envoy to the talks that an agreement was reached after six days of talks in Atlanta.

The secretive talks, which are the latest in several rounds over the last five years, had been extended twice in the hope of reaching an agreement. Sticking points this time included dairy products, data protection on drugs and the threshold for local content in automobiles, but the TPP reaches into the tech industry too.

Quite how far is not known because the talks have been taking place in secret, but previously leaked texts point to major changes in the way intellectual property is treated online.

Some of the most divisive portions of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act were to be extended to other TPP nations, such as the enactment of laws banning the circumvention of digital locks. It could also see an extension in the length of copyright protection by 20 years or more and new laws that punish copyright infringement.

More details are expected to emerge as the parties hold news conferences after the talks.

The twelve countries involved in the talks are the US, Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei Darussalam.



Martyn Williams, IDG News Service

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