+Comment WikiLeaks has revealed a new draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the controversial free trade treaty currently being negotiated by 12 nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
The new leak comprises a version of the treaty's second chapter said to be the result of round of negotiations conducted in Vietnam during May 2014.
WikiLeaks claims the revisions in the new draft include “a resuscitation of the defeated Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)”, a treaty that among other things would have criminalised attempts to circumvent digital rights management.
DRM includes several technologies including software locks that allow rights-owners to set and enforce terms by which people use their intellectual property.
The next round of TPP talks takes place in Australia later in October. ®
The treaty's critics argue that it is the “Son of SOPA” as it suggests internet service providers be made responsible for their subscribers' abuse of copyright. Previous drafts of the treaty have proposed extending copyright and other intellectual property protections, potentially extending the length of time that Big Content and Big Pharma can enjoy exclusive rights to innovation.
Canadian law professor Michael Geist's post on the new draft suggests that it shows the US is finding it hard to rally support for some of the copyright proposals. He suggests “the US remains fairly isolated in its efforts to overhaul patent and copyright law around the world”.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF's) analysis of the draft makes the claim that it contains new trade secret protections “that would criminalize the unauthorized, willful access of a trade secret held in a computer system, or the misappropriation or disclosure of a trade secret using a computer system.”
The EFF expressed concern that the new wording doesn't offer any exemptions, meaning journalists could be charged for revealing the details of trade secrets – which would make life interesting when your future self sends a tasty morsel to firstname.lastname@example.org.