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Michael Geist's Blog

The Trans Pacific Partnership IP Chapter Leaks: Canada Pushing Back Against Draconian U.S. Demands

Wikileaks released an updated version of the secret Trans Pacific Partnership intellectual property chapter this morning (background on the TPP from my appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade earlier this year). The leaked text, which runs 95 pages in length and is current to August 2013, provides a detailed look not only at the chapter - it includes the full text - but also the specific positions being taken by all negotiating countries.

From a Canadian perspective, there is good news and bad news.  The good news is that Canada is pushing back against many U.S. demands by promoting provisions that are consistent with current Canadian law. Canada is often joined by New Zealand, Malaysia, Mexico, Chile, Vietnam, Peru, and Brunei Darussalam. Japan and Singapore are part of this same group on many issues. Interestingly, Canada has also promoted Canadian-specific solutions on many issues. The bad news is that the U.S. - often joined by Australia - is demanding that Canada rollback its recent copyright reform legislation with a long list of draconian proposals.

It is instructive to see how different the objectives of the U.S. are on intellectual property when compared to virtually all other countries. With the exception of the U.S., Japan, and Australia, all other TPP countries have proposed an objectives article (Article QQ.A.2) that references the need for balance, promotion of the public domain, protection of public health, and measures to ensure that IP rights themselves do not become barriers to trade.  The opposition to these objective by the U.S. and Japan (Australia has not taken a position) speaks volumes about their goals for the TPP.


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