US Trans-Pacific Partnership proposal leaked

NGO publishes Washington wish-list

The group Knowledge Ecology International has scored a leaked copy of the IP protections the United States has proposed for the so-far-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty.

The multi-lateral treaty negotiations include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

The IP protections proposed by the US are essentially an American wish-list that would, in some interpretations, override consumer protections that already exist in individual nations (parallel importation rights of CDs, for example, seems under threat were the US proposal adopted).

Most disturbing for ISPs – apart, of course, from the secrecy of the negotiations – the treaty would impose on signatories an obligation to put content industries' wishes into law.

If the treaty were adopted, an "effective notification" of a claimed infringement would be sufficient to place ISPs under obligation to the content owner. If the side-letter offered in the document were adopted as a definition of "effective", the bar for effectiveness is set fairly low: the letter would have to identify the claimant, the work, express the claimant's belief that the information is accurate, and carry a signature.

The treaty would also require countries to legislate that ISPs "publicly designate" someone to deal with the vast quantity of frequently inaccurate notifications generated by content industry spambots notifications.

Further, the proposed US text demands that ISPs adopt termination policies – and that they implement service monitoring.

Privacy also takes a battering, with the proposal demanding that if an ISP has received “effective notification” of a “claimed infringement”, it should identify the alleged infringer (you read that right: your privacy would be overridden not by a court order, but merely by an effective notification of a claim). ®

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