TPP Documents Released on WikiLeaks
The parties authoring it don’t want you to see it, but you can head over to WikiLeaks to get a look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that nations including the US, Japan, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Mexico and several others are considering agreeing to. There has been a veil of secrecy surrounding the exact nature of this deal, which was largely held to be a vast giveaway to corporate interests at the expense of everyday people by critics. Unfortunately, what WikiLeaks has published reveals that criticism to be entirely merited.
The WikiLeaks page has what it calls the most controversial chapter. The text includes the positions of the 12 nations considering joining the agreement, as well as their objections, according to the site.
The Deal and the Objections
Critics claim that the vast expansions to intellectual property law under the agreement will stifle innovation. They also fear that it will drive up the price of medications, which would be covered under the agreement. This could mean that people who need medications would have an even harder time affording them than they do now.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been one of the most consistent critics of the TPP. They hold that the agreement, as it was published on the site, would have serious implications on the right to privacy and the right to speak freely around the world. According to analysts who have read the leaked text, this holds true. The Creative Commons, being the content that is freely available to share and use, is projected to be severely affected by this deal, according to many critics.
The way the agreement was written and its end results are both the focus of criticism. The agreement was written with corporate input, but regular citizens were not only prevented from having a voice, but were not intended to see the agreement, with it only becoming available because of WikiLeaks publishing it.
The end result is that there would be more restrictions on data, which would be subjected to more stringent copyright rules. The same would apply to patents and, according to the leak, the time that intellectual property would be copyrighted would be extended still further. It has already been extended in the US at the behest of corporations and this agreement seems to carry along in that vein.
The implications for pharmaceuticals are particularly troubling to some activists. They hold that extending the copyright and patent protections would drive the costs of medications up, including those that are used to treat deadly diseases, such as HIV/AIDS. They also point out that the system for enforcing copyright law set up in the agreement is beyond national law and has no safeguards for human rights built into it.
Given that the document appeared on WikiLeaks, it’s obvious that it was not intended to be seen by regular people. As was the case with SOPA and PIPA, there is the opportunity for Internet users to protest against this agreement. Overall, critics call it a giveaway to US corporations and an agreement that, more than anything else, protects corporate interests at the expense of the rights of private citizens. You can take a look at the agreement at WikiLeaks.