[TechDirt] EU Mandate For TAFTA Leaked: Includes Investor-State Dispute Resolution For Intellectual Monopolies
One of the concerns about TAFTA/TTIP is that it would repeat the mistakes of ACTA and SOPA as far as intellectual monopolies were concerned. This led to a call by a group of public interest organizations for things like copyright and patents to be excluded from TAFTA (disclosure: I was involved in the drawing up of the text.) Needless to say, no notice was taken of that, and a couple of weeks ago the European Parliament duly passed a resolution on TAFTA that said: "the agreement should include strong protection of precisely and clearly defined areas of intellectual property rights (IPRs), including geographical indications, and should be consistent with existing international agreements;"
However, the important document is the one from the European Commission laying down the Directives that set the terms for the negotiations. By a happy chance, the German blog netzpolitik.org has just come into possession of a draft of these, and made them freely available [...]
But of course, the irony here is that even in the face of this failure to take openness seriously, a leak has already occurred, allowing anyone to read the supposedly confidential document. And judging by what has happened with ACTA and TPP in the past, further leaks of key texts will occur despite the best efforts of the negotiating parties to keep everything behind closed doors. So why not release all documents that have been tabled -- that is, those that are no longer secret? Being able to read them ought to be the right of citizens on both sides of the Atlantic; refusing to distribute them makes a mockery of the idea that the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations are being conducted in the public's name.