Last week, everyone got their first look at the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP] and one industry here in Southern California is especially pleased by the sweeping trade deal – Hollywood film studios.
For all the talk of rice, cows, and cars, much of the TPP is actually about intellectual property such as drug patents, standards for Internet companies, and copyright protection.
There were few surprises when the trade agreement – all 30 chapters - came out because much of it had already been leaked. It includes an important provision that extends copyrights in TPP countries to the life of author plus 70 years, which is 20 years longer than the current standard mandated by the Berne Convention.
In a statement, the Motion Picture Association of America praised the trade agreement.
"Enacting a high-standard TPP with strong copyright protections is an economic priority for the American motion picture and television industry, which registered nearly $16 billion in exports in 2013 and supports nearly two million jobs throughout all fifty states," the group said. "The TPP reaffirms what we have long understood -- that strengthening copyright is integral to America’s creative community and to facilitating legitimate international commerce."
The group’s lobbying ability will now be put to the test as the TPP goes to Congress for an up or down vote sometime next year. Labor unions will be leading the lobbying effort on the other side.
Other opponents to the TPP include Fight for the Future, a group that opposes extending copyright terms.
"This will keep an enormous amount of information, art, and creativity out of the public domain for decades longer than necessary, and allow for governments to abuse copyright laws to censor online content at will, since so much of it will be copyrighted for so long," said Evan Greer, campaign director for Fight for the Future.