Malaysia Says No To The Trans-Pacific Partnership. Meanwhile, The Agreement Causes Political Conflict In Australia
Filed under: Announcements & Events, Entertainment Industry, Legal P2P News & Issues
After TPP’s limitations and exceptions were leaked just a while ago, the Australian government is harshly criticized by the opposition parties. In addition, Malaysia is already considering saying “no” to the agreement.
The TPP is an agreement which would allow corporations to be above any country’s law, as long as their HQs is situated outside the country, monopolize the internet through a regime such as the “three-strikes system”, impose further restrictions to the consumer, and much more.
As such, we find out from The Sun Daily that Malaysia is clearly against this agreement:
Malaysia is against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) which seeks to extend the patent periods of medicines by foreign companies.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the agreement, which is being negotiated among eleven countries including the US and Malaysia, would be detrimental to the local medical industry.
“We are against the patent extension. According to the agreement, if a medicine is launched in the US, and then three years later it is launched in Malaysia, the patent would start from when it is launched here and not when it was launched earlier in the US,” said Liow. “This is not fair.”
He stressed that the agreement would in effect make healthcare less affordable to the public.
But Malaysia is not the first to raise a voice against TPP. Australia’s Green Party is also pressing the country’s government on the issues raised by the Trans-Pacific Partnership. From Computerworld we found out that:
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has slammed the federal government for continuing to pursue the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is currently undergoing negotiation.
Ludlam stated the Federal Government is “hell-bent” on locking Australia into a dead-end copyright treaty.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, if the USA gets its way, will cause huge problems for Australians, but our Federal Government is backing Washington to the hilt,” he said in a statement.
“Not content with supporting the ill-fated Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement [ACTA], which would endanger the legal status of generic medicines and was overwhelmingly rejected by the European Parliament, the trade minister is now pushing for an Agreement that offers no protection for copyright exceptions enshrined in Australian law.
“ACTA was an absolute dud, and the Government wanted to jump on board before the Australian Law Reform Commission’s inquiry had even warmed up.”
Meanwhile, the Australian government replied, as seen in a report from ITNews:
a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) argued that Australia’s support for copyright limitations and exceptions was consistent with “existing international obligations”.
While not denying the substance of the leaks, she said the discussion on limitations and exceptions were still under negotiation. Revised text on copyright limitations and exceptions has been tabled as recently as the last round, in July 2012.
The spokeswoman said Australia would not accept an outcome in the TPP that reduced its ability to enact copyright limitations and exceptions under Australian domestic law.
“Australia’s positions in the intellectual property chapter have been, and continue to be, informed by a wide range of relevant stakeholder views and perspectives,” she said.
The Attorney-General’s Department has undertaken a review on the technological protection measures available to Australians to bypass copyright measures, such as removing region coding on DVDs.
In other words, the Australian government is not only trying to justify the agreement, but is also planning a thorough cost-benefit analysis to somehow prove that the agreement is in everyone’s benefit. However, Australia’s Pirate Party argued back in May that the TPP has no economic benefits whatsoever. Even more hilarious (in a grim sort of way) is that the country has been negotiating for years over this agreement and pretty much signed up for it, but only now they consider a report on how the TPP would actually change things.
Japan, a country that looked interested in the TPP is also having trouble with chewing TPP’s provisions. From Yomiuri we find that:
Amid prolonged political turmoil, it has become nearly impossible for Japan to join talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade accord before the end of this year.
To take part in the round of TPP negotiations scheduled for early December–the last for this year–the government and ruling parties must reach a consensus by the end of August, as it will take 90 days for the U.S. Congress to approve Japan’s entry.
The government had planned to make quick preparations for joining the TPP talks by coordinating opinions among relevant bodies after enacting bills on the integrated reform of the social security and tax systems. An official announcement regarding Japan’s participation had been planned for a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum scheduled for September or another occasion.
However, at Wednesday’s meeting between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and main opposition leaders–Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki and New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi–Noda referred to an early dissolution of the House of Representatives.
Many within the ruling Democratic Party of Japan remain cautious regarding the TPP issue. If the government pushes ahead with the talks, more lawmakers may leave the ruling parties in addition to those who left to oppose the integrated reform bills.
Could it be that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will soon share the fate of ACTA and, once more, bring the interested entities’ dreams back in the dirt where they belong? We certainly hope so!