The Fair Deal campaign is about keeping the Trans Pacific Partnership from changing our copyright laws.
A Fair Deal is one that opens up new trade opportunities without forcing us to make copyright law changes that would take a major toll on New Zealand.
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement that New Zealand is negotiating with eleven countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.
The TPP is no simple “free trade agreement.” It goes further than tariffs and quotas. The TPP will reach beyond the border, into New Zealand’s own policy-making and regulatory processes. For example, the TPP could stop future governments from making their own decisions on important issues including how long copyright lasts and how Internet Service Providers do business.
The TPP negotiations are secret,
so nobody can say for sure what New Zealand could lose or gain from the agreement, but a leaked document reveals that the US wants copyright standards that would force change to New Zealand’s copyright laws. We want you to know more about what’s at stake so that you can have a say now, before the deal is done.
The good news is that we know – from another leaked document – that the NZ copyright team went into TPP talks looking for fair copyright (and other intellectual property) standards. Now is the time to stand behind our team and support a Fair Deal for New Zealand.
Support a Fair Deal for Consumers
Keep parallel imports
The TPP could give copyright holders the power to veto parallel imports. This would drive up the already high price of books and DVDs in New Zealand. Parallel imports have been legal since 1998. The TPP could change all that.
Keep our copyright terms
The TPP could make copyright longer in New Zealand. For example, book copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 50 years after his death. The TPP could add another 20 years to that, making copyright last the author’s life plus 70 years. Not only would Kiwis have to pay extra 20 years in royalties, but several generations will go by before the book enters the public domain.
Keep our current law on TPMs
A Technological Protection Measure (TPM) is software designed to prevent people from copying digital products. But TPMs do more than that — they prevent us from doing legal things, like watching legally-purchased DVDs from different regions or unlocking (aka “jailbreaking”) iPhones. Our current law lets us get around – circumvent – TPMs so long as we’re not doing it to infringe copyright. The TPP could make it illegal to circumvent TPMs even for non-infringing purposes like getting around region-coding or unlocking phones.
Support a Fair Deal for Innovators
Copyright exceptions are important to innovation
Copyright law is meant to encourage people to create, but too strong copyright law can actually stifle innovation. This is especially true in the digital environment. As explained in a leaked text by New Zealand negotiators:
Many innovations are occurring in a rapid and sequential manner either through the clustering of innovation or by one innovator moving to quickly build on the work of another…In this environment, more people are arguing that overly strong rights can act as an inhibitor rather than as promoter of innovation.
The TPP should encourage innovation by giving countries the right to create their own exceptions to copyright laws that let new business models flourish. If countries want to embrace the “weightless economies” on the Internet, then when it comes to copyright law, the exceptions to the rule are as important as the rule itself.
Support a Fair Deal for our Internet
Keep our Internet open
The TPP could give copyright owners power over temporary electronic copies, for example cached, buffered or streamed data. The glaring problem is this: the Internet fundamentally depends on making temporary copies to move information from point A to point B, so the TPP’s “temporary electronic copy” right is like giving copyright owners the power to set up toll booths all along the information superhighway. This would seriously take away from the openness that makes the Internet so valuable.
Let ISPs do what they do best – provide Internet access, not police copyright
The TPP could force ISPs to be judge and jury when it comes to copyright infringement, making them – not a Court – determine who “repeat infringers” of copyright are and cut them off from the Internet. We’ve been down this road before in New Zealand and we came up with a law that requires a Court to be involved — we have due process, and it should stay that way.
What you can do…
Click on a postcard below
Pick the issue that you care most about and tell the Minister of Trade what you think in 140 characters. Keep it clean and constructive! Then, enter your details – name, email and country. If we reach 5,000 postcards we’ll print them out and deliver them to the Minister. We’ll do best to deliver yours but we cannot make guarantees.