TPP traps – we need to know the costs as well as the gains

In 2005 the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) was signed. Some agricultural tariffs were reduced immediately. Sugar wasn’t. Australian beef won’t enjoy duty free access to the US market until 2023.

Australia accepted that trade – US market access in exchange for US copyright demands.

A report from the Australian Productivity Commission – the Government’s independent research and advisory body – indicated that Australia suffered a net loss under AUSFTA as a whole because of accepting the US copyright demands.

So why has our political leadership not talked about the costs of accepting the US copyright demands?

Why wouldn’t you look at the total cost/benefit analysis? Because you want the political benefit at any cost. Just like the Government did with the Hobbit, and may do over the dissatisfaction Chorus has expressed at the Commerce Commission copper/UBA price determinations.

Don???t trade away our digital future | InternetNZ

Finally, another innovation-killing US proposal worth mentioning eludes the understanding of some of the brightest people I have ever met ??? people who have a rigorous knowledge of the Internet and how it works. This is the proposal that would give copyright owners an exclusive right over temporary electronic copies.

While it took me a while, finally the threat arose. It’s not so much that the operators of caches will have to do all the intrusive things that are mentioned, they won’t.

What the rights holders seek here is the ability to tax cache operators (and that is a wider class than just ISPs). Like this: “We know, and you know, there will be some copyright material cached which has not been licensed, and you can either ferret it all out at great expense, or pay us a simple blanket licence to excuse you.”

Collection agencies have been doing this for sometime, so you can’t play a radio in business where the customers can hear it, without paying the vig. You must pay them a cut even if you don’t play copyright music, but any music at all.


The other version of this is “ephemeral rights,” where radio stations buy a record, and for convenience dubs (AKA copy) it to a cartridge for air-play. That’s convenient, that’s value, there’s a right…

Susan uses the example of your heart’s indifference to what it pumps, the vampire at your neck is similarly indifferent, as long as they get their fangs in the vein.