Latest news about the TPP

April 8, 2014 - Rep. Raul Grijalva and Global Access to Medicines Program Director Maybarduk in the Huffington Post: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Is terrible for Public Health (links to huffingtonpost.com)

March 14, 2014 - 16 members of Congress write USTR expressing concern over TPP provisions' effect on access to medicines

March 14, 2014 - Sunlight Foundation: How Big Pharma (and others) began lobbying on the Trans-Pacific Partnership before you ever heard of it

February 27, 2014 - Krugman NYT Op-ed: No Big Deal (links to nytimes.com)

February 11, 2014 - National Journal: The Last Major Fault Line in the Democratic Party (links to nationaljournal.com)

February 9, 2014 - Contralinea: TPP: adios a los medicamentos genericos (links to contralinea.info)

February 3, 2014 - 65,000 Protest TPP in Mexico, See Repeat of NAFTA Mistakes (links to popularresistance.org)

January 17, 2014 - Several ranking members in Congress send letter to USTR in support of access to medicines in developing countries (links to citizen.org)

January 11, 2014 - HuffingtonPost: Why House Democrats Might Kill Obama's Big Trade Deal (huffingtonpost.com)

December 18, 2013 - Washington Post: Obama administration sued over its secretive trade negotiations (washingtonpost.com)

December 9, 2013 - KEI: 6 Members of Congress Write to President Obama on TPP and Access to Health Care, Criticize Closed Door Negotiations (links to keionline.org)

December 9, 2013 - KEI: 29 Organizations and More than 70 Individuals Sign Letter Opposing Life Plus Seventy Year Copyright Term in TPP (links to keionline.org)

December 6, 2013 - Representative Waxman sends letter to USTR expressing strong disagreement with 12 years of data exclusivity in the TPP (links to waxman.house.gov)

December 5, 2013 - Vatican criticizes TRIPS+ and ISDS provisions in FTAs at WTO Ministerial Conference (links to wto.org)

More Articles on the TPP and Access to Medicines

Joint Statement of Civil Society Groups on U.S. TPP Copyright Proposal

The below is a joint statement from Public Citizen, EFF, Knowledge Ecology International, and Public Knowledge.


The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced a new copyright proposal today for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. One part of the proposal is a "3-step test" that may restrict copyright exceptions like fair use.

The USTR says that its proposal - the text of which is still secret - will include provisions that may mimic Article 13 of the WTO TRIPS accord, which says:

Members shall confine limitations or exceptions to exclusive rights to certain special cases which do not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and do not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the right holder.
We are concerned that, depending on the actual text and its scope and interpretation, the provision in the TPP will restrict fair use and other copyright exceptions and limitations crucial for the progress and access of culture, science, education, and innovation.

In a 2000 dispute involving an exception to copyright for the United States, the WTO has defined the 3-step test narrowly and restrictively, making it difficult to justify a statutory limitation or exception to the exclusive rights of copyright, in the areas where the WTO says the test applies.

The risk is that (a) the 3-step test is extended to another fora, and (b) more importantly to exceptions now outside of the 3-step test.

The 2000 WTO interpretation has been criticized in the Max Planck Institute Declaration on a balanced interpretation of the three-step test.

According to the Max Planck Declaration:

“The Three-Step Test has already established an effective means of preventing the excessive application of limitations and exceptions. However, there is no complementary mechanism prohibiting an unduly narrow or restrictive approach. For this reason, the Three-Step Test should be interpreted so as to ensure a proper and balanced application of limitations and exceptions. This is essential if an effective balance of interests is to be achieved.”

It is vitally important that exceptions and limitations to copyright be protected in international trade agreements.
While we are supportive of efforts to protect and expand the use of copyright exemptions in certain areas, such as to protect education and facilitate the development of new Internet services, a provision in the TPPA that includes a restrictive 3-step step may work in the opposite direction of what is needed.

It is critical to ensure that any language introducing the three-step test not only include reference to the Max Planck Declaration to ensure that the test is not so narrowly construed, but also to ensure that it is without prejudice to other existing limitations and exceptions that fall outside this test that are included in international conventions. In particular, we note that the Berne Convention and the Rome Convention both have several articles that specifically provide for copyright limitations and exceptions without a 3-step test.

For press inquires, please contact:

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Carolina Rossini
International Intellectual Property Director
carolina@eff.org

Knowledge Ecology International
Krista L. Cox
Staff Attorney
krista.cox@keionline.org

Public Citizen
Burcu Kilic
Legal Counsel, Global Access to Medicines Program
bkilic@citizen.org

Public Knowledge
Rashmi Rangnath
Director, Global Knowledge Initiative

rrangnath@publicknowledge.org


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