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The Trans-Pacific Partnership Will Undermine Freedom of Expression

TPP ProtestMore than just a trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an attempt to establish standards not only for trade but for many related issue to govern 40% of the world’s GDP. The Centre for Law and Democracy has prepared a set of Comments highlighting significant concerns about how the TPP will impact on freedom of expression in response to an invitation for submissions by Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade.

CLD’s Comments Are Available Here

“While every treaty involves compromises, the TPP is seeking to extract a very high price from signatories in terms of freedom of expression,” said CLD’s Senior Legal Officer, Michael Karanicolas. “We urge Canada’s policy-makers to think very carefully about whether the harm to core Constitutional rights are worth it.”

CLD’s key concerns with the TPP include the following:
• It requires signatories to extend copyright terms, which will provide very few benefits to artists but represents a giveaway to large, profitable rights holders.
• Entrenches the problematical US-style “notice-and-takedown” scheme for copyright violations among signatories.
• Prohibits data localisation schemes, removing an important tool for combating State-led mass surveillance programmes.
• Undercuts multi-stakeholder models of Internet governance by imposing pre-set decisions regarding matters which should be decided by independent regulators.

Against these significant harms, the TPP’s positive statements on freedom of expression are weak and generally non-binding.

For further information, please contact:

Michael Karanicolas
Senior Legal Officer
Centre for Law and Democracy
email: michael@law-democracy.org
tel: +1 902 448-5290
Twitter: @law_democracy

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