By William New, Intellectual Property Watch
For years, the United States and partner governments have worked vigorously to keep the publics they represent from knowing what they are negotiating behind closed doors in the top-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. But today’s Wikileaks release of the draft intellectual property chapter blew that up, confirming the fears of public interest groups that this is an agreement heavily weighted toward big industry interests.
“If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons,” WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange said in a release. “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.”
In a live broadcast today [at minute 25], Assange said,
“I think this release is going to pretty much kill it,” referring to the TPP. Assange, who said his team had worked with little sleep for four days to get this out, said that what is being pitched as intellectual property rights is really no more than a consolidation of monopoly control by large companies. This is a “major” release by Wikileaks, he said, showing the agreement would create new judicial institutions that would allow companies to sue governments with no rights. “It’s a big deal geopolitically,” Assange said, by creating a massive bloc that does not include China.
The 95-page text of the TPP IP chapter is from the 26-30 August 2013 round of negotiations in Brunei, and is available here (along with a press release).
The group Just Foreign Policy has issued a reminder to people to fulfill their pledges on Wikileaks donation page, which totalled some US$70,000 if it posted the TPP. “WikiLeaks has rendered a tremendous service to the public,” it said. More