The United States Trade Representative (URTR) has proposed a new copyright provision that would address some intellectual property concerns found in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive trade agreement currently being negotiated amongst nine Pacific Rim countries in San Diego this week. Canada was recently extended an invitation, but its formal membership has yet to be approved by the existing nine countries, including the United States.
In a statement emailed to reporters on Tuesday, the USTR appears to be addressing exceptions to copyright restrictions, which had not been included in a TPP draft leaked a year ago.
“For the first time in any US trade agreement, the United States is proposing a new provision, consistent with the internationally recognized ‘3-step test,’ that will obligate Parties to seek to achieve an appropriate balance in their copyright systems in providing copyright exceptions and limitations for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research,” wrote Carol Guthrie, the spokesperson for the USTR, in an e-mail sent to Ars.
“These principles are critical aspects of the US copyright system, and appear in both our law and jurisprudence. The balance sought by the US TPP proposal recognizes and promotes respect for the important interests of individuals, businesses, and institutions who rely on appropriate exceptions and limitations in the TPP region.”
Historically, major intellectual property holders, such as the RIAA and MPAA—who both support the TPP—have called for stronger international copyright protection.