WikiLeaks: ISPs to hand over copyright infringer details under TPP

Corinne Reichert at ZDNet: The TPP will force ISPs to give up the details of customers who allegedly infringe copyright and allow rights holders to seek both compensatory and punitive damages as well as loss of profit, according to WikiLeaks.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will force internet service providers (ISPs) to give up the details of copyright infringers so that rights holders can protect and enforce their copyright through criminal and civil means with few limitations, according to the intellectual property chapter released by WikiLeaks over the weekend.

The TPP, which reached agreement last week after talks had stalled for years over digital rights and other issues, will regulate trade between Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, and Chile.

However, with the full text of the agreement yet to be published, citizens of those 12 countries have only had the summaries of varying detail released by the parties to go on — until WikiLeaks published a leaked copy [PDF] of what it purports to be the intellectual property chapter.

“This is the highly sort-after [sic] secret ‘final’ agreed version of the TPP chapter on intellectual property rights,” the WikiLeaks document says.

“There is still a finishing ‘legal scrub’ of the document meant to occur, but there are to be no more negotiations between the parties … The document is dated October 5, the same day it was announced in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, that the 12 nations had managed to reach an accord after five and half years of negotiations.”

Section G of the leaked chapter covers the enabling of rights owners to protect digital copies of their “works, performances, and phonograms”, giving authors the exclusive right to mandate the terms of access to their works, while Section H discusses enforcement mechanisms for online copyright infringement.

Each party to the TPP must also pre-establish a framework for calculating damages and additional damages under H7, with the former to be compensatory for the harm suffered by the rights holder, as well as punitive to deter future copyright infringement (H9), and the latter to take into account the nature of the infringement and again the need for deterrence (H10).

Section I of the chapter covers internet service providers (ISPs), with Article I1(1) of the leaked document saying that parties must build a framework providing “legal incentives” for ISPs to assist copyright owners in deterring the transmission and storage of copyrighted material. In addition, each country’s laws must ensure that ISPs are not made liable for customers who have used their network to infringe on copyright.

Under Article I3, however, ISPs will be required, upon receiving a notification from the rights holder, “to expeditiously remove or disable access to material residing on their networks or systems upon obtaining actual knowledge of the infringement”.

To combat online piracy, Article H3(2) states that all TPP members must now collect, analyse, and publish data on copyright infringement, and use this to come up with an effective strategy for preventing and combating future infringements.

The TPP has yet to be signed and ratified by the 12 Pacific Rim nations that are parties to it.

Sources:

ZDNet: WikiLeaks: ISPs to hand over copyright infringer details under TPP

WikiLeaks: TPP Treaty: Intellectual Property Rights Chapter, Consolidated Text (October 5, 2015)

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