In 2005, the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement was established as a free trade agreement intended to liberalize economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Negotiations surrounding an expanded version of the framework known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have picked up in recent months, but a swell of new intellectual property concerns are tempering excitement for the proposed legislation.
According to the Hill, several prominent senators have traveled to New Zealand and Japan in an attempt to further TPP discussions and secure mutually beneficial trade ties that support the expected economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region. But as politicians focus on what the agreement could do for American exports and employment prospects, copyright experts have voiced concerns over the language contained in a recently leaked copy of draft legislation.
Digital rights activists from the Electronic Frontier Foundation are suggesting that provisions contained in the proposed agreement go above and beyond current U.S. copyright laws, placing greater liability on internet service providers when rooting out infringing digital content and potentially creating copyright terms that last well beyond internationally agreed-upon standards.
What's more, all signatory countries would be required to conform their domestic laws to TPP provisions, thus restricting their ability to autonomously adapt royalty management structures or separate statutes in light of fast-moving technological innovations.