Category: trade agreements
TTP, CETA, TTIP. Trade agreements are not suited for regulating copyrights – on October 28th this will be the topic of Lisa Macklem’s presentation at CopyCamp. Lisa is a Canadian lawyer researching the intersection of technology, copyright, and the media and how these impact on innovation and human rights.
A consultative meeting concerning the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement between the European Union and the United States (TTIP) has recently taken place in the polish Ministry of Economy.
Representatives of the Modern Poland Foundation) participated in this meeting as well in the hope that the Ministry of Economy, in response to our request for public information, would present related documents. Other participants of this meeting were guests from the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Ministry of Administration and Digitization and representatives of the European Commission in Warsaw. Such representation of the authorities indicates how great importance they attach to this matter. However, this meeting has not resulted in any specific information.
Over a month ago, the Modern Poland Foundation posed two questions to the Ministry of Economy regarding the currently negotiated TTIP treaty:
1. What is the current shape of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) treaty in the context of exclusive rights to intangible goods (in other words so called intellectual property rights)? We are particularly interested in provisions concerning the copyright law.
2. What is the Polish negotiating position regarding the provisions concerning intellectual property rights?
On the 25th of March we received the following response from the Ministry of Economy:
Dear Mr President,
In reference to your enquiry from the 12th of February 2014, I kindly inform you that the talks regarding intellectual property laws (IPR) within the TTIP are not advanced at the very moment. Until now, the USA and the EU were concentrated on the general range of the TTIP and the analysis of the partners’ positions in particular areas of the treaty.
However, it should be pointed out that all the information the EU member states obtained from the European Commission is classified and it is not possible to pass it on outside the state administration. This also concerns the Foundation’s request to access the text of the chapter on IPR and the Polish stance in this matter.
In compliance with the EU practices, the text of the treaty will be made available only in the final stage of the negotiations, after the signing of the document by both parties.
Deputy Minister of Economy
The last sentence appears to be particularly interesting in the context of the Polish experience with ACTA. One of the accusations towards the treaty is that it will impede any possible changes to the current copyright system, especially with regards to the potential extension of fair use and users’ rights. It seems that we will witness a similar situation with the TTIP. Social organizations insist on removing from the treaty any matters related with exclusive rights to intangible goods, including copyright. We believe that they should be analyzed and streamlined by the dedicated organizations and treaties, i.e. WIPO and the Berne Convention, while all countries should be free to their shape exclusive rights in accordance with their citizens’ interests.