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Wikileaks publishes draft from free-trade agreement under secretive negotiations

The chapter published today constrains proposals for major changes to intellectual property rights laws in the states involved.

Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief Juilan Assange.
Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief Juilan Assange.
Image: Anthony Devlin/WPA-Rota/PA

WIKILEAKS TODAY PUBLISHED a leaked draft from the largest ever international trade agreement currently being negotiated between twelve prospective member states.

The release of the draft from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) comes ahead of a decisive summit of chief negotiators in Utah next week. Contained in the International Property Rights chapter published today are some of the more controversial details which will impact on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents.

It also includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all twelve of the prospective member states.

60 per cent of global GDP

This agreement precedes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with US-EU negotiations for that deal having started in January of this year. Together these agreements will cover over 60 per cent of global GDP and both of them exclude China.

Numerous heads of state involved in the negotiations, including US President Barack Obama, have expressed their intention to sign and ratify the deal by the end of this year, though the negotiations have been kept secret and it was previously revealed that only three individuals in each nation have access to the full text.

Today Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange accused the US administration of “aggressively pushing the TPP through the US legislative process on the sly”.

The 95-page chapter published today lays out provisions for a regime to change or replace existing laws including agreements on patents, copyright, trademarks and industrial design.

Far-reaching

Wikileaks said today the enforcement measures have “far-reaching implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy, as well as for the creative, intellectual, biological and environmental commons”.

Measures include supranational litigation tribunals which national courts would be expected to defer to, but which would have no human rights safeguards. These courts would be permitted to conduct hearings with secret evidence. This chapter also replicates many of the surveillance and enforcement provisions from the shelved SOPA and ACTA treaties.

Assange said:

If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.

Intellectual property law expert Matthew Rimmer told the Sydney Morning Herald that “one could see the TPP as a Christmas wish-list for major corporations”.

“Hollywood, the music industry, big IT companies such as Microsoft and the pharmaceutical sector would all be very happy with this,” he said.

States currently involved in the negotiations include the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.

Read the full chapter released today>

Read: The Wikileaks Party got fewer votes than the Australian Sex Party>

Read: “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female.”>

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