The draft of the IP section of the TPPA makes for scary reading.
Draconian measures are proposed to be applicable to ISPs. Laws will have to be put in place to require ISPs to cooperate with copyright owners in preventing unauthorised storage and transmission of copyrighted materials.
Legal liability for ISPs will extend beyond the provisions of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Internet users will, by law, have to be identified by an ISP if copyright owners have given "effective notification of claimed infringement".
There is also a proposal to extend the copyright period to a minimum of 95 years from creation of a work to a maximum of 120 years. Parallel trade in any copyrighted goods is ruled out altogether in the draft.
The TPPA is being pushed in the main by media and pharmaceutical companies, the latter seeking to obtain higher prices for drugs, with one of its main targets being the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
As the US moves into its election cycle, campaign donations assume even more importance. Media and drug companies are big donors and have to be kept happy. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the US president Barack Obama is expected to announce a draft framework for the TPPA at the APEC summit in Hawaii in November.
Obama will need all the money he can get to fight for re-election next year, given that his poll ratings are pathetic at the moment. The state of the economy is no help to him.
In that context, the rights or otherwise of Australian internet users are of no importance. There are bigger fish to fry and the US appears intent on giving its big corporates the pound of flesh they are after.