Thursday, January 16, 2014

TPP and Intellectual Property

I find that communication is the most important "Alternative to Violence". As such, my largest concern about the proposed TPP trade deal is its grave impacts on modern communication methods and intellectual property.
  • TPP has provisions to criminalize basic aspects of downloading and streaming content. 
    • That chills internet communications that all of us, including social reformers, depend on for our work. 
  •  TPP internationalizes extension of copyrights more than 50 years after the author's death, curtails "fair use" provisions, and more.
    • Extended copyrights don't encourage authors, they merely prevent access and re-use of works that publishers don't want to bother making available at a reasonable rate. For instance, you still can't play "Happy Birthday" on the radio without paying a hefty fee to Warner Bros. 
    • This puts barriers and frictions in the work of our educators and inter-cultural communicators. 
  •  TPP enables more frivolous patents, and makes them more enforceable in more countries. 
    • Computer software is the worst jungle of "patent trolls," that could be impacted by the TPP.
    • But the TPP would even make surgical procedures patentable. Imagine a doctor unable to perform a procedure because she fears a patent lawsuit!
    • Intellectual property regulations can also enable or undermine agricultural green revolutions in low income countries. QUNO has been studying this recently. 

Sources:
Wikipedia
Electronic Frontier Foundation statement (like the ACLU for electronic communications)
International Business Times article on TPP
NYT on Patent Trolls
QUNO on Intellectual Property in Agriculture