Monday, February 27, 2017

Statement of Public Interest Principles for Copyright Protection under the Regional Comprehensive Partnership (LTC)

The University of Hong Kong's Law and Technology Centre (LTC) is spearheading a global signature campaign to express concern with the copyright protection standards proposed in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a major trading agreement involving Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and ASEAN states.  So far more than 60 scholars around the world have signed the Statement of Public Interest Principles for Copyright Protection under the RCEP, a statement drafted by LTC Director Dr Haochen Sun, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong.  The Introduction to the Statement is excerpted below.
Introduction 
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) aims to conclude a comprehensive agreement that promotes free trade and investment among Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). As a hallmark of this proposed agreement, the RCEP Intellectual Property (IP) Chapter will set out a host of minimum standards for IP protection in the sixteen participating countries. 
     We are deeply concerned about the copyright protection standards proposed for the RCEP IP Chapter. They may cause unintended effects of stifling creativity, free speech, and economic growth. We urge that the new rounds of RCEP negotiations reconsider those standards by applying the following three principles:
  1. Integrate the public interest as a core value for copyright negotiations. 
  2. Increase transparency of negotiations for the public interest. 
  3. Institute changes in copyright provisions for the public interest. 
Guided by these three principles, RCEP negotiations would produce the largest mega-regional free trade agreement to procedurally and substantially protect the public interest in copyrighted works. The RCEP copyright provisions, therefore, stand to benefit nearly 50% of the world’s population, who live in the sixteen RCEP participating countries.
To view the full Statement and the names of those who have signed it, click here.  To sign the Statement, click here.

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