The recently leaked Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, a multilateral trade agreement negotiated secretly by 12 Asia-Pacific countries, has hit the scene with it’s fair share of controversey. On 13 November, Wikileaks published a full draft of the IP Chapter of the TPP.
The information included in the document offers unique insights into the 12 countries — namely the US, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The leaked text has confirmed concerns voiced by civil scoiety groups that the IP chapter would severely infringe Internet users’ rights to freedom of expression and privacy online.
The leaked text has revelead profound disagreements between the negotiating parties, specifically concerning copyright terms, intermediary liability and criminalisation of copyright infringement. Countries like Chile, Canada and New Zealand have sought to promote balanced IP policy — a stark contrast to the agressive stance taken by the US. These disagreements suggest that TPP negotiations will not conclude by 2013.
It is clear that the secrecy surrounding the TPP negotiations is motivated by attempts to avoid public scrutiny over this document.