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Book Beat: What is Wrong With The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)?

by guagliardo 9. April 2013 16:35



The World Library Book Beat Blog
Volume 3, Number 2
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
by John Guagliardo
Founder, World Public Library


What is Wrong With The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)?


I recently received an email from Mark Akrigg, the Founder of Project Gutenberg Canada.  He asked if our readers are aware that the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), sponsored by the Publishing Industry, is actively lobbing to change the Public Domain laws again.  The current law in Canada is called Life+50.  Basically, it means copyright extends the life of the author plus 50 extra years afterwards. I think we all have agreed that as long as the Author is alive, whatever he has written is protected under copyright.  However, what I don't agree with is that for half a century afterwards the publishing industry will still own the works and not release it to the public. 


Unfortunately, the TPP is strongly pushing legislators to approve the TPP Agreement, which proposes to extend the current copyright Life+50 to 20 more years, making the new law Life+70.  If we imagine, in 1872 an important medical or scientific article was written, according to the current copyright law in Canada, only this year could libraries and literacy organizations, like Project Gutenberg of Canada, could provide the public with a copy of the article.  The new proposal states that the public will have to wait until 2033 before you can read it.  We can safely wager that between now and 2033, a new proposal will be introduced to extend it another 20 years and so on.  If the Publishing Industry gets its way, the public will never ever have access to read articles or books without each person having to pay them for it, and pay them again each time you access it in a different file format or on a different reader device. 


The wisdom of our ancestors is the knowledge that belongs to all of us.  Profiteering and coveting the intellectual works of those who have passed before us should be a crime. Legislation such as Life+70, is legislation that we need to stop from passing.


In the USA the TPP is similarly proposing to Expand Copyright Terms. TPP proposes to create copyright terms well beyond the internationally agreed period, set forth in the 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Currently US copyright is 95 years after publication.  The US-Oman Free Trade Agreement will extend copyright to 120 years after creation for corporate owned works.


The USA and Canada are under constant attack from lobbyist hired by the Publishing Industry.  Since the public is fairly quiet opposing the Publishing Industry the lobbyist are very effective and usually get whatever they proposed passed.  The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)


If you would like to get involved here is what you can do:

If you are in the United States:

Join EFF and more than 27,000 people in sending a message to Congress members to demand an end to these secret backdoor negotiations:







Sent from Mark Akrigg (posted with permission)

Sent: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 2:53:38 PM

Subject: Re: The "Trans Pacific Partnership" -- a menace to the US and other countries


Dear John,

The long debate over the Copyright Act revisions in Canada is over, and the changes are now in force.  Some of the changes are good, others are not.  But from my perspective the main thing is that Life+50 has been preserved.  And it has become very clear that the Canadian public is extremely aware of copyright issues, and that, in the absence of outside factors, Life+50 will endure.

But there *are* outside factors.  Talks are underway for the Trans Pacific Partnership, a "trade agreement" involving a dozen or so countries, including Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.  It includes an unsavoury set of proposals, including copyright extensions to Life+70.

If these extensions went through, 20 years of the pubic domain would disappear in Canada and New Zealand, and it would become that much harder for Congress to roll back the unfortunate 1998 copyright extensions, because of "international obligations".

It is difficult to exaggerate the danger posed by these secret negotiations.  Senator Wyden of Oregon has stated that "the majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations — like Halliburton, Chevron, PHRMA, Comcast, and the Motion Picture Association of America — are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement":

There is awareness in Canada of the risks posed by the TPP.  I personally became very active very early, and did everything I could to alert the Canadian public to what was going on.  I was surprised and gratified by the strong positive reaction that I received.

In New Zealand, there is widespread opposition to the TPP's attack on the public domain:
(The author of this blog item is a Member of Parliament in New Zealand)

But the attack on the public domain originated in the United States, and strong public opposition within the U.S. would be the most effective way of stopping this attack.

The American Library Association and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have already spoken publicly about the TPP, but my sense is that the American public is not aware of what is going on.

I'd be very happy to learn that PG US and its friends are actively working to stop the TPP.

Mark Akrigg
Project Gutenberg Canada

P.S. As part of my activity, in August 2012 I made a formal submission to the U.S. government explaining why the TPP is harmful to the citizens of the United States as well as of other countries:

It was not a time to mince words, and my language was direct.  I explained why the Trans Pacific Partnership is particularly harmful to Americans, and how it attacks the American Constitution and the principles of American democracy.  I also gave the background to the American copyright extensions of recent years.





Book Beat: Don’t Let Them Trade Away Our Internet Freedoms: Speak Out Against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement!

by guagliardo 9. April 2013 16:20


The World Library Book Beat Blog
Volume 3, Number 1
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
by John Guagliardo
Founder, World Public Library

Don’t Let Them Trade Away Our Internet Freedoms: Speak Out Against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement!

(Republished from

What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement. The main problems are two-fold:

(1) IP chapter: Leaked draft texts of the agreement show that the IP chapter would have extensive negative ramifications for users’ freedom of speech, right to privacy and due process, and hinder peoples' abilities to innovate.

(2) Lack of transparency: The entire process has shut out multi-stakeholder participation and is shrouded in secrecy.

The eleven nations currently negotiating the TPP are the US, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei Darussalam. The TPP contains a chapter on intellectual property covering copyright, trademarks, patents and perhaps, geographical indications. Since the draft text of the agreement has never been offically released to the public, we know from leaked documents, such as the February 2011 draft US TPP IP Rights Chapter [PDF], that US negotiators are pushing for the adoption of copyright measures far more restrictive than currently required by international treaties, including the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The TPP Will Rewrite Global Rules on Intellectual Property Enforcement

All signatory countries will be required to conform their domestic laws and policies to the provisions of the Agreement. In the US, this is likely to further entrench controversial aspects of US copyright law (such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act [DMCA]) and restrict the ability of Congress to engage in domestic law reform to meet the evolving IP needs of American citizens and the innovative technology sector. The recently leaked US-proposed IP chapter also includes provisions that appear to go beyond current US law.

The leaked US IP chapter includes many detailed requirements that are more restrictive than current international standards, and would require significant changes to other countries’ copyright laws. These include obligations for countries to:

·         Place Greater Liability on Internet Intermediaries:
The TPP would force the adoption of the US DMCA Internet intermediaries copyright safe harbor regime in its entirety. For example, this would require Chile to rewrite its forward-looking 2010 copyright law that currently establishes a judicial notice-and-takedown regime, which
provides greater protection to Internet users’ expression and privacy than the DMCA.

·         Regulate Temporary Copies: Treat temporary reproductions of copyrighted works without copyright holders' authorization as copyright infringement. This was discussed but rejected at the intergovernmental diplomatic conference that created two key 1996 international copyright treaties, the WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.

·         Expand Copyright Terms: Create copyright terms well beyond the internationally agreed period in the 1994 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Life + 70 years for works created by individuals, and following the US-Oman Free Trade Agreement, either 95 years after publication or 120 years after creation for corporate owned works (such as Mickey Mouse).

·         Enact a "Three-Step Test" Language That Puts Restrictions on Fair Use: The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is putting fair use at risk with restrictive language in the TPP's IP chapter. The US and Australia are both proposing very restrictive text, and Peru is willing to accommodate the bad language. 

·         Escalate Protections for Digital Locks: It will also compel signatory nations to enact laws banning circumvention of digital locks (technological protection measures or TPMs) [PDF] that mirror the DMCA and treat violation of the TPM provisions as a separate offense, even when no copyright infringement is involved. This would require countries like New Zealand to completely rewrite its innovative 2008 copyright law, as well as override Australia’s carefully-crafted 2007 TPM regime exclusions for region-coding on movies on DVDs, videogames, and players, and for embedded software in devices that restrict access to goods and services for the device—a thoughtful effort by Australian policy makers to avoid the pitfalls experienced with the US digital locks provisions. In the US, business competitors have used the DMCA to try to block printer cartridge refill services, competing garage door openers, and to lock mobile phones to particular network providers.

·         Ban Parallel Importation: Ban parallel importation of genuine goods acquired from other countries without the authorization of copyright owners.

·         Adopt Criminal Sanctions: Adopt criminal sanctions for copyright infringement that is done without a commercial motivation, based on the provisions of the 1997 US No Electronic Theft Act.

In short, countries would have to abandon any efforts to learn from the mistakes of the US and its experience with the DMCA over the last 12 years, and adopt many of the most controversial aspects of US copyright law in their entirety. At the same time, the US IP chapter does not export the limitations and exceptions in the US copyright regime like fair use, which have enabled freedom of expression and technological innovation to flourish in the US. It includes only a placeholder for exceptions and limitations. This raises serious concerns about other countries’ sovereignty and the ability of national governments to set laws and policies to meet their domestic priorities.

Non-Transparent and On The Fast Track

Despite the broad scope and far-reaching implications of the TPP, negotiations for the agreement have taken place behind closed doors and outside of the checks and balances that operate at traditional multilateral treaty-making organizations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization.

Like ACTA, the TPP is being negotiated rapidly with little transparency. During the TPP negotiation round in Chile in February 2011, negotiators received strong messages from prominent civil society groups demanding an end to the secrecy that has shielded TPP negotiations from the scrutiny of national lawmakers and the public. Letters addressed to government representatives in AustraliaChile, MalaysiaNew Zealand and the US emphasized that both the process and effect of the proposed TPP agreement is deeply undemocratic. TPP negotiators apparently discussed the requests for greater public disclosure during the February 2011 negotiations, but took no action.

Why You Should Care

TPP raises significant concerns about citizens’ freedom of expression, due process, innovation, the future of the Internet’s global infrastructure, and the right of sovereign nations to develop policies and laws that best meet their domestic priorities. In sum, the TPP puts at risk some of the most fundamental rights that enable access to knowledge for the world’s citizens.

The USTR is pursuing a TPP agreement that will require signatory counties to adopt heightened copyright protection that advances the agenda of the US entertainment and pharmaceutical industries agendas, but omits the flexibilities and exceptions that protect Internet users and technology innovators.

The TPP will affect countries beyond the 11 that are currently involved in negotiations. Like ACTA, the TPP Agreement is a plurilateral agreement that will be used to create new heightened global IP enforcement norms. Countries that are not parties to the negotiation will likely be asked to accede to the TPP as a condition of bilateral trade agreements with the US and other TPP members, or evaluated against the TPP's copyright enforcement standards in the annual Special 301 process administered by the USTR.

Here’s what you can do:

Are you in the United States?

Join EFF and more than 27,000 people in sending a message to Congress members to demand an end to these secret backdoor negotiations:





Book Beat: The Public Library of Science (PLoS) Journals are Now

by johnguagliardo 25. October 2012 20:23

The World Library Book Beat Blog
Volume 2, Number 10
Wednessday, Oct 25, 2012
by John Guagliardo
Founder, World Public Library

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) Journals are Now
Available at the World Public Library

I am pleased to announce the addition of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Journals to World Public Library shelves. The PLoS publications include 7 different journals, each with a specific scientific focus. Currently, there are a total of 520 issues, with about 50,000 articles.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a scientific publishing project aimed at creating a library of open-access journals and other scientific literature. It launched its first journal, PLoS Biology, in October 2003 and publishes a total of seven journals, all peer-reviewed: PLoS ONE, PLoS Biology, PLoS Medicine, PLoS Computational Biolog, PLoS Genetics, PLoS Pathogens, and PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a nonprofit publishing, membership, and advocacy organization with a mission to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication.

The PLoS core objectives are:

  • to provide ways to overcome unnecessary barriers to immediate availability, access, and use of research
  • to pursue a publishing strategy that optimizes the openness, quality, and integrity of the publication process
  • to develop innovative approaches to the assessment, organization, and reuse of ideas and data

The Public Library of Science began in early 2001 as an online petition initiative by Patrick O. Brown, a biochemist at Stanford University, and Michael Eisen, a computational biologist at both the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Joined by Nobel Prize winner and former National Institutes of Health director Harold Varmus, the PLoS organizers next turned their attention to starting their own journal, along the lines of the UK-based BioMed Central, which has been publishing open-access scientific papers in the biological sciences in journals such as Genome Biology and the Journal of Biology since late 1999.

As a publishing company, the Public Library of Science began full operation on October 13, 2003, with the publication of a peer-reviewed print and online scientific journal entitled PLoS Biology, and has since launched seven more peer-reviewed journals, although one of them, PLoS Clinical Trials, has since been merged into PLoS ONE. Following the merger, the company started the PLoS Hub for Clinical Trials to collect all published PLoS journal articles that relate to clinical trials. Further, the PLoS portal functions as a site where researchers can share views, and build a dynamic, interactive community.

PLoS currently publishes seven peer-reviewed open-access journals. The journals vary in their selectivity and contain differing amounts of commentary articles from opinion leaders in a variety of scientific disciplines. The journals are editorially independent.

They include PLoS ONE, which publishes all rigorous science across the full range of life and health sciences; the community journals (PLoS Genetics, PLoS Computational Biology, PLoS Pathogens, and PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases); and the flagship journals, PLoS Medicine and PLoS Biology, highly selective journals publishing fewer than 10% of submissions along with a range of informative and influential non-research content.

Fast, efficient, and economical, publishing peer-reviewed research in all areas of science and medicine. The peer-review process does not judge the importance of the work, rather it focuses on whether the work is done according to high scientific and ethical standards and is appropriately described, and that the data support the conclusions. Combining tools for commentary and rating, PLoS ONE is also a unique forum for community discussion and assessment of articles.

PLoS Biology
The first PLoS journal, featuring works of exceptional significance, originality, and relevance in all areas of biological science, from molecules to ecosystems, including works at the interface of other disciplines, such as chemistry, medicine, and mathematics. The audience for PLoS Biology is the international scientific community as well as educators, policymakers, and interested members of the public around the world.

PLoS Medicine
PLoS Medicine provides an innovative and influential venue for research and comment on the major challenges to human health worldwide. The journal publishes papers that have wide-ranging relevance and that address the major environmental, social, and political determinants of health, as well as the biological. The journal gives the highest priority to papers focussed on the conditions and risk factors that cause the highest mortality and burden of disease worldwide.

PLoS Computational Biology
PLoS Computational Biology makes connections among disparate areas of biology by featuring works that provide substantial new insight into living systems at all scales — including molecular science, neuroscience, physiology, and population biology—through the application of computational methods.

PLoS Genetics
PLoS Genetics reflects the full breadth and interdisciplinary nature of genetics and genomics research by publishing outstanding original contributions in all areas of biology, from mice and flies, to plants and bacteria.

PLoS Pathogens
From molecules to physiology, PLoS Pathogens publishes important new ideas on bacteria, fungi, parasites, prions, and viruses that contribute to our understanding of the biology of pathogens and pathogen–host interactions.

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
The first open-access journal solely devoted to neglected tropical diseases, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed research on all scientific, medical, and public health aspects of these forgotten diseases affecting the world’s forgotten people.

PLoS is a member of the Committee for Publication Ethics, and PLoS editorial staff are members of the following organizations: the Council of Scientific Editors; the National Association of Science Writers; the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors; and the World Association of Medical Editors.


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