Posted October 9, 2015, 2:48 PM
This morning, Wikileaks released the final negotiated text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “Intellectual Property” chapter, confirming advocates warnings that the deal contains extreme copyright provisions and monopoly protections for large pharmaceutical companies that threaten online freedom of speech and affordable access to medicine.
Fight for the Future, a leading digital rights group that has opposed the TPP due to its utter lack of transparency and potential to lead to widespread Internet censorship, issued the following statement, which can be attributed to campaign director Evan Greer:
“The text of the TPP’s intellectual property chapter confirms advocates warnings that this deal poses a grave threat to global freedom of expression and basic access to things like medicine and information.
But the sad part is that no one should be surprised by this. It should have been obvious to anyone observing the process that this would be the result. Appointed government bureaucrats and monopolistic companies were given more access to the text than elected officials and journalists; from the outset there was no way this was going to be a good deal for the public”
“Honestly, at this point, the only true course of action for members of Congress who still believe in democracy would be to completely defund and do away with the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR,) who are largely responsible for the TPP and its extremist contents. This agency become the laughing stock of Washington, DC and is one of the most blatant examples of a revolving door between industry and government. The contents of the TPP’s IP chapter were bought and paid for by Hollywood and the pharmaceutical industry before the negotiations even began.
The U.S.’s copyright system is corrupt and severely broken. But instead of trying to fix it, the USTR is trying to force these draconian policies on the rest of the world. We at Fight for the Future will fight to make sure that never happens, and we call upon the entire Internet to fight with us.”
Fight for the Future is a digital rights nonprofit that has driven more than 130,000 emails and more than 15,000 phone calls to Congress opposing the TPP in recent months, rallied more than 7,500 websites for an online protest, and helped coordinate a letter to Congress from more than 250 tech companies expressing transparency and tech related concerns about Fast Track legislation.
The group made headlines in March when they flew a 30’ blimp over several of Senator Ron Wyden’s town hall meetings calling for him to “Save the Internet” by opposing Fast Track for the TPP, and then parked a Jumbotron on capitol hill to display the viral video they made about the stunt. More recently, Fight for the Future made a splash on the hill when they delivered actual rubber stamps to every house Republican’s office with a mock letter from President Obama asking Congress to “please rubber stamp my secret trade agenda.
Fight for the Future works to defend the Internet as a free and open platform for expression and creativity, and is best known for their role organizing the massive online protests against SOPA, the Internet Slowdown for net neutrality, and the Reset The Net campaign for online privacy, which was endorsed by Edward Snowden.