osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

I am definitely in an alternate universe

The U.S. Trade Representative just embraced 'limitations and exceptions' to copyright as an integral and valuable part of the copyright system.

From The USTR's Official website:

"For the first time in any U.S. 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. These principles are critical aspects of the U.S. copyright system, and appear in both our law and jurisprudence. The balance sought by the U.S. 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."

To give an analogy to show just how radical this is for USTR, it is roughly the equivalent of the Pope saying that use of contraception may be not merely acceptable, but provide positive benefits for married couples by facilitating sex for intimacy rather than for procreation.

Now as my colleague Rashmi at PK points out, this is just lip service until we see the actual proposed treaty language. Still, there is nothing like seeing about 5 years of work on ACTA flushed down the drain to get USTR to acknowledge that it at least needs to start paying lip service to this stuff.

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