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Dear Santa, please bring us a new narrative .... Thanks, TTIP negotiators

*** Iptegrity wishes all readers a very happy Christmas!***

The European authorities want industry to come up with a counter-narrative to civil society in what would appear to be fear of an ACTA protest Mk2. This was revealed in a cosy Brussels soirée held at the American Chamber of Commerce to discuss the intellectual property content of the EU-US trade agreement known as TTIP. It has also been revealed that industry has given to the negotiators a veritable Christmas list of copyright enforcement measures they would like to see in TTIP.

The soirée was held at the AmCham offices on 5 December. It was attended by a select group of industry lobbysts with interests in intellectual property and copyright. Some of the usual suspects were there, such as Time Warner and Disney, but interestingly, the Motion Picture Association and the IFPI were notable by their absence. Instead, a couple of entertainment industry litigators seem to have taken their place. ( See Chapter 6 of The Copyright Enforcement Enigma for details of entertainment industry lobbyists in the EU and how they are organised).

A report of the gathering underscores the interpretation that the European Commission and industry are nervous post-ACTA. For example:

"for certain people, it was a way to react against monpolies and big industries It's a kind of new [...] movement. And this is where they were particularly successful when the discussions came on ACTA. [...] they were using all the kinds of media communications they could find. And industry was unable to counter-balance this with new narrative [..] It was totally overwhelmed"

The speaker was Patrice Pellegrino, a representative of the body known as OHIM which stands for Office of the Harmonization of the Internal Market, and (despite its name) is tasked with managing trade marks in the EU. He previously advised the big retailers, so it is interesting that he points this out. And actually he is right - industry did not know how to react to the citizen protests against ACTA - see A Copyright Masquerade Chapter 6 for my interpretation.

So what does this mean for TTIP?

TTIP negotiators are working on an intellecual property chapter. The lead negotiators are the same as those who led the ACTA talks. It's also notable that the TTIP mandate - at least, the leaked copies that are available publicly - indicates a focus on enforcement measures, as indicated by the reference to TRIPs. They also want to have another go at Geographical Indicators, which fell out of ACTA.

The concern lies with the vague statements such as 'exploring opportunities to address other significant IPR issues'. Such statements could sweep in a raft of enforcement measures such as intermediary liability, which is not addressed in TRIPs.

According to the report of the above-mentioned soirée, industry has given the European Commission TTIP negotiators "quite a Chrismas list" of measures to be included.

Topping the list are enforcement measures. We don't know exactly what is on this list, but the copyright industries have been pushing a wish list of enforcement measures at legislators for a long time now, as they did with ACTA (see A Copyright Masquerade Chapter 4) .

But note that contrary to the report of the soirée, enforcement measures are not necessarily criminal measures and may be civil measures or 'voluntary' measures taken against intermediaries. These kinds of measures are more likely to be what's intended and would arguably fall within the TTIP mandate to build on TRIPs.

It is noteworthy that industry has told the commission it wants "the same level of protection in the US and the EU". This is copyright lobbysts' code for 'the EU must have the same enforcement measures as the US'.

This is the real concern for TTIP.

However, negotiations may prove difficult. According to the note, the European Commission said that notice and takedown measures are not included in TTIP, and neither is discussion of privacy law. This would make sense in light of what happened during the ACTA negotiations (see chapter 4 of A Copyright Masquerade where the negotiations are described in detail).

And these kinds of dealing difficulties may be why the EU negotiators want a new industry narrative. They know they cannot do another 'ACTA'. They need industry to change its tune.

Merry Xmas!


This is an original article from Iptegrity.com and reflects research that I have carried out. If you refer to it or to its content, please cite my name as the author, and provide a link back to iptegrity.com. Media and Academics - please cite as Monica Horten, 2013, A TTIP Christmas wish in Iptegrity.com 24 December 2013. Commercial users - please contact me.

TAGS: TTIP, TAFTA, EU-US trade talks, AmCham, European Commission, American Chamber of Commerce, ACTA, copyright, enforcement, intermediary liability, ISP liaibility, IPR, intellectual property rights, OHIM, MPAA, ACTA protests.


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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor: online safety, technology and human rights. In April 2024, I was appointed as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on online safety and empowerment of content creators and users. I am a published author, and post-doctoral scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Westminster, and a DipM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I cover the UK and EU. I'm a former tech journalist, and an experienced panelist and Chair. My media credits include the BBC, iNews, Times, Guardian and Politico.

Iptegrity.com is made available free of charge for non-commercial use. Please link back and attribute Dr Monica Horten.  Contact me to use any of my content for commercial purposes.  

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