WikiLeaks Blasts U.S. Antipiracy Push (Update)

WikiLeaks Blasts U.S. Antipiracy Push (Update)

Group says Trans-Pacific Partnership would “trample over individual rights and free expression”

WikiLeaks and consumer groups say the U.S. government has slipped strict and overreaching antipiracy measures into a new proposed trade agreement.

WikiLeaks on Wednesday released sections of the U.S. Trans-Pacific Partnership being negotiated between the U.S. and several other countries. WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange said new proposals in the treaty would “trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons.”

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“If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you're ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs,” said Assange (pictured).

The Motion Picture Association of America, which has pushed for added antipiracy protections, noted that the proposed text is not final.

“What the text does show though, if it is authentic, is that despite much hyperbole from free trade opponents, the U.S. has put forth no proposals that are inconsistent with U.S. law,” said Michael O'Leary, the MPAA's senior executive vice president for global policy and external affairs.

“Strong intellectual property laws are imperative, not just for the millions of workers around the world whose livelihoods depend upon the success of the copyright industries, but to the future growth of the world economy,” he added.

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The watchdog group Public Citizen said the changes would lengthen copyright terms, restrict exceptions to copyrights, expand copyright protection to temporary copies and turn Internet service providers into law enforcement agencies.

It said the changes were “harmful to freedom and access.”

Other critics said the new restrictions could be more severe than the entertainment industry sought in the Stop Online Privacy Act and the Protect IP Privacy fight. Consumers groups successfully fought both by branding them as too severe.

Los Angeles copyright and patent attorney David Philip Graham told TheWrap that if  the U.S. gets its way, Internet service providers could have to work with law enforcement agencies to keep their customers from violating copyrights.

The TPP is being negotiated by the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. It proposes reductions in duties on a number of industries and eliminating trade barriers while increasing patent, copyright and intellectual property protection.

WikiLeaks released a 95-page section of the proposed agreement. Negotiations are to resume next week in Salt Lake City.

  • filmexec

    Screw the Rapist and what he thinks about anything!

  • Stuart W

    why do I feel prompted to reflexively oppose anything that WikiLeaks is supporting? Especially in the copyright area. Isn't Mr. Assange an international fugitive whose release of classified documents has put hundreds of individuals at risk their very lives? Isn't the WikiLeaks creator living under “full asylum in Ecuador?

    This the accused sexual predator The Wrap is granting unfettered space to in their publication?
    Help me to understand what I am missing here.

    • AJ

      Who cares about the Wikileaks guy? The article is about copyright and internet freedom.

      Jeez, it's so frustrating when people bother to write an article about something and all the public can talk about is the totally WRONG point.

      It's deflectionary to focus the conversation anywhere but on the TPP and how that relates to content producers and content viewers.

      Open your eyes people. Stop being distracted by the latest shiny thing at the side of the road'.

    • Arbed121

      Glad to. The bits you missed are:

      1. US General Robert Carr testifying under oath in Chelsea Manning's trial that the Pentagon could not find a single person who even needed protecting because of Wikileaks’ publications, let alone confirmation that anyone had died. There was never any risk; that's just bullshit propaganda you've been fed.

      2. Assange isn't an international fugitive from justice. He has never been charged with any crime in any country.

      3. While allegations of sexual misconduct are being used to try to extradite him to Sweden and then from there to the US, a detailed reading of all the evidence in the public domain suggests there is no case to answer. The first prosecutor closed the case down within 24 hours. It has subsequently been reopened for political purposes.

      Hope that helps!

      • SiMoebus

        2. Julian Assange knowing violated his bail conditions, which is a serious offense and punishable under law. He is accused of committing 4 crimes in one country, and required to complete the criminal investigation in that country.

        3. It is rape and sexual assault he is accused of. All serious offenses. It was not the first prosecutor, but a more senior prosecutor who reduced some of the accusation, and removed the most serious offense. It was 4 days later that the case of rape was closed, but the other case continued.

        1. And some want to talk about propaganda.

  • SiMoebus

    He always has to inject himself into the latest technology story. The problem with the way intellectual property is being approached is to look down of ideas at the disadvantage of consumers and society. Owners of intellectual property and patents should be allow to reap the rewards of being first, but it should be used as an incentive to innovate. It is seems to be more being turned into a currency (which might not be the right term.) That is companies allows to hold on those rights for longer that the companies existence.

    • Arbed121

      The reason Assange is “injecting himself into the latest technology story” is because the story is based on his publication of a very significant leak. This IS Wikileaks’ story.

      I agree with your points about the current length of copyright being too long and it stifling innovation. I read about a study by experts who found that the optimum length of copyright to give people incentive to create and to invent, and reward them for it, was 7 years. Beyond that, all copyright does is reward parasitic corporations.

      • SiMoebus

        He want to seem relevant, but at times seems more interested in using catch phrase and obfuscation. Copyright protection is a good thing, but finding the right balance is difficult.