Open letter opposing TPP talks over copyright

Michael Geist advises Canadians to participate in the public consultation on a possible trade deal with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which could mean a longer copyright term, stronger digital lock protections, and ISP notice-and-takedown – measures that would toughen copyright beyond international requirements, stifle innovation and education, and undo some of the provisions in C-11 – a bill the government hasn’t even passed yet.

Given what the government’s considering signing away with CETA (you know, just water and health care and such), I dread what else the government may be considering by joining the TPP.

To participate is as easy as sending an e-mail to Here’s the one I wrote.

To whom it may concern,
I am writing, in response to the invitation for public comments on the TPP talks, to state that I object to copyright being part of these talks.

In particular, provisions being considered that would extend copyright term, strengthen digital locks, and introduce notice-and-takedown requirements for ISPs are provisions that would harm Canadian business, education, and culture. They would also run counter to many points in the new copyright legislation, Bill C-11. Some legal criticisms suggest the digital lock provisions in C-11 are themselves unconstitutional, and international criticisms of notice-and-takedown measures point out their inefficacy and flouting of due legal process. For the government to consider copyright changes under TPP that would require either revision or replacement of C-11 is a questionable use of government resources, a detriment to Canadian industry and innovation, and an unacceptable imposition on Canadians’ access to and use of information.


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