4. Balance Of Power

Trans Pacific Partnership Blind Justice Daredevil

One of the biggest problems with the TPPA is that it’s geared to protect copyright holders above all else and ignores the rights of consumers almost completely.

It can induce internet service providers (ISPs) to police their own customers and report anyone downloading movies or TV’s shows illegally to copyright holders. That’s not all though, it can even demand that if caught, illegal movie downloaders can have their PC’s destroyed.

Then there’s the section that extends copyright to 75 years after the authors death so no My Little Pony versus Evil Dead fan-fic for you any time soon. There’s no real system of checks and balances to be found that allows for grey areas.

Imagine if your cousin downloaded that movie on your Wi-Fi while visiting? What if you want to express your fandom and creativity by editing together a music video for your favourite anime or of the President of the United States singing a song?

The TPPA doesn’t really allow for grey areas like these, especially for “transformative” works like the latter. It does however, allow plenty of methods for rights holders to criminalise you with very nasty consequences.

It also doesn’t really do anything to spur the content owners to more easily share their content like removing region locking and providing access to content worldwide , for a fee. Sure I can watch The Walking Dead on TV the day after it airs in the US but what about Arrow or Netflix shows like Daredevil?

Region locking itself could also be thought of as a form of DRM and if a company pursued this in the courts even using VPN software could be considered criminal, even if you did pay for the content.

Most of the sections of the TPPA relating to enforcing the copyrights rights use language like “shall” and “must” to describe each countries responsibilities under the agreement whereas anything that relates to consumer rights is left up to the countries to “endeavour” to protect. Does that seem fair to you?