On July 9, 2014, ARL joined 34 other organizations in sending a letter to ministers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating parties, expressing opposition to the copyright term of life plus 70 years proposed by the United States. These organizations—representing libraries, archives, authors, educators, students, digital rights advocacy groups, and technological innovators—note that this extended copyright term threatens the public domain. The letter states:
the extension of the copyright term results in a net welfare loss to society, and effectively amounts to a transfer of wealth to a small number of multinational copyright-holding companies.…This transfer of welfare in favor of large corporate copyright owners will come at the cost of those who depend upon access to copyright works that would otherwise be in the public domain—libraries, students, artists, writers, and millions of other people.
TPP negotiators are currently meeting behind closed doors in Ottawa, Canada, in an effort to finalize negotiations for the large regional trade agreement which now has 12 negotiating parties: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States.
This article originally appeared on the ARL Policy Notes blog on July 9, 2014.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.