And Greens Senator Scott Ludlam says it is “hugely dangerous.”
Ludlam, still at danger of losing his WA Senate seat, has long been a vocal opponent of restrictions on intellectual freedom. "The TPP text still forces internet providers to police Australian internet users and enables the US to place us under surveillance, justified as a US-led crackdown on internet piracy," says Ludlam.
"We have one piece of the TPPA puzzle, and it is chilling. The Greens will move for the rest of the document to be made public to the Parliament and the Australian people, before the Government signs up to something we will regret.
"It's clear this secret deal, driven by foreign interests to benefit some of the largest multinationals, will still censor internet content, impose harsh criminal penalties for non-commercial copyright infringements, and force Australian internet service providers to police users and hand information over to law enforcement," says Ludlam.
"The current TPPA text also entrenches the disadvantages Australians experience in being ripped off with unfair IT pricing."
EFA points out that not only are the secret negotiations deplorable, as is Australia's almost total agreement with the US positions, but if passed, its provisions will severely restrict choice, increase prices, and reduce freedom of expression.
As an example of just one major problem with the chapter, the concept of "fair use" appears just once in the entire TPP Advanced Intellectual Property Chapter for all 12 nations, with negotiating positions released by Wikileaks. Even then, the concept is not proposed as a positive right but as a secondary consideration after the rights of IP holders:
Each Party may provide limited exceptions to the rights conferred by a trademark, such as fair use of descriptive terms, provided that such exceptions take account of the legitimate interest of the owner of the trademark and of third parties. (Article QQ.C.4, p. 17)
“Only Vietnam has had the mettle to stand up to every other negotiating country and propose fair use as a positive right:
[VN propose; AU/US/NZ/SG/MY/CL/PE/CA/JP/BN oppose: The owner of a registered trademark shall not have the right to prevent third parties from using geographical indications or other signs descriptive of goods and services even though they are identical or similar to the trademark unless such use would result in confusion.]
“On this issue alone, EFA challenges Prime Minister Tony Abbott to provide evidence for his claim about the TPP that "in the end everyone is better off." Of course this is not a Coalition-only issue. Most of the negotiations were conducted during the term of the previous Labor government.”