RLI 285  19 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC 2015 and some cover only select subjects related to trade, such as tariffs, others involve large regions with multiple trading partners and cover subject areas seemingly unrelated to trade. Two prominent regional trade agreements include the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Unfortunately, these trade agreements are negotiated behind closed doors and, unlike at WIPO, the negotiating texts are kept secret, making it difficult to comment on the proposed agreements. Only through leaks of the texts has the public been able to gain access to and understand the proposals. Some members of the US Congress have criticized the secrecy of these trade agreement negotiations. For example, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wrote a letter to the US Trade Representative (USTR), the lead agency negotiating trade agreements, concluding, “the public has a right to monitor and express informed views on proposals of such magnitude as the TPP…Without access to the actual texts being discussed, in my view the effective input and informed participation of the public is severely curtailed.”9 The lack of transparency has also been criticized by library organizations and civil society. Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) has been under negotiation since 2010. New negotiating parties have been added since the first round of negotiations and the agreement now has 12 negotiating parties. In addition to the US and Canada, the following countries are currently involved in the negotiations: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. This trading area comprises 40 percent of the world’s GDP and is intended to eventually cover the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region. Through several leaks of the negotiating text of the intellectual property chapter—one of the most controversial chapters of the agreement—the public is able to see what topics are being negotiated and which countries support or oppose particular proposals. The first leak of the comprehensive, consolidated intellectual property chapter, including country positions, occurred in November 2013, reflecting the state of negotiations as of August 2013. After this leak, US Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) criticized the copyright provisions, noting in a press statement that the agreement “is something that is backdooring through a trade agreement, that which could not be obtained in Congress.”10 The most recent leak occurred in October 2014 and reflected the state of negotiations as of May 2014.11 One of the most controversial issues regarding copyright in the TPP centers on copyright term. The United States proposed its current term of life of the author plus 70 years, or 95 years for published works for hire and 120 years for unpublished corporate works. The term of life plus 70 is supported by Australia, Chile, Peru, and Singapore, the four negotiating parties in the TPP that have already signed a bilateral free trade agreement with the US and previously agreed to this term. Mexico has proposed its domestic term of life plus 100 years. The remaining countries support the international standard of life of the author plus 50 years. The danger of including the copyright term of life plus 70 in the TPP, aside from the harm that lengthy copyright terms have on the public domain and access to knowledge, is the difficulty in changing this
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