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Civil society wants no intellectual property provisions in TAFTA

27 March, 2013

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Zivilgesellschaft gegen Urheberrechtsbestimmungen in TAFTA

More than 45 civil society organisations from US and Europe, including EDRi, ask that the proposed EU-US trade agreement called Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) should exclude any provisions related to patents, copyright, trademarks, or other forms of so-called "intellectual property".

US President Barack Obama, the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso announced on 13 February 2013 the official launch of negotiations of the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), known also as as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The civil society organisations issued a declaration (IP OUT OF TAFTA) in which they insist that TAFTA should have no intellectual property provisions and that the EU and US should release the negotiating texts of the trade agreement. They fear that TAFTA might include the intellectual property provisions that were covered by the rejected ACTA and they believe that such provisions could affect citizens' rights to health, culture, and free expression.

“Trade agreements are not the right forum to discuss intellectual property rights," says FFII analyst Ante Wessels who notes that “the industry already dreams of setting a gold standard in areas such as intellectual property rights protection. Does that sound familiar? Yes, it does. It sounds like ACTA, the agreement overwhelmingly voted down last July in the European Parliament. ACTA was, in almost all aspects, a drama, out of touch with our societies."

The Civil Society Declaration concludes that TAFTA negotiations “must not lead to a rewriting of patent and copyright rules in a way that tilts the balance even further away from the interests of citizens.”

Civil society organisations say no to intellectual property in EU - US trade agreement (18.03.2013)

IP out of TAFTA - Civil Society Declaration

EDRi-gram: Total transparency on ACTA and TAFTA documents (13.03.2013)



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