Welcome to the Media Law Roundup, a survey of the week’s developing media news.
WikiLeaks Publishes Draft of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Chapter
On November 13th, WikiLeaks released a draft of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement’s intellectual property (IP) chapter. The TPP is a secretive trade agreement between twelve nations (the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Japan) focusing on market access, tariffs, intellectual property rights, foreign investment rules, labor and environment standards, and disputes procedures. TPP Us-led negotiations began in March 2010 and are scheduled to conclude as early as the end of 2013. TPP opponents insist that the agreement’s provisions on IP rights will be a serious threat to users’ rights, creation, invention, and innovation. The published IP excerpt has solidified opponents’, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), fears. According to WikiLeaks, some provisions revisit surveillance and enforcement rules from the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that caused public outrage in late 2011 and early 2012.
Baidu Sued for Online Piracy
Chinese Internet firms, leading web portal Sohu and top online video company Youku Tudou, are suing web service company Baidu for copyright violations. The firms’ $49 million USD lawsuit is backed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), as well as Tecent, Wanda Films, and TV producer Hayi Brothers. Baidu is accused of using providing links that allow users to access pirated content without having to visit third party sites. As China has limited IP restrictions and enforcement, there have been numerous intellectual property (IP) disputes with the U.S. This case, however, represents a “rare internal challenge” to China’s piracy issue.
Technology and Disaster Response
In the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan, technology is playing a large role in coordinating relief efforts. Digital humanitarianism, digital mapping and digital microtasking, while not new, put social media networks to use by rapidly spreading and filtering crucial information about disaster zones. In preparation for Haiyan, the U.N’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) requested the Digital Humanitarian Network to mobilize its volunteer base to digitally map the super typhoon’s impact. Platforms such as MicroMappers, developed by Standby Task Force (SBTF) and Qatar Computing Research Institute, enable users to access the website and, for example, tag tweets as “offers of help” or rate the types of damages shown in images on the website. Meanwhile, other organizations focus on providing telecommunication network support. The French based Telecoms San Frontieres, for example, provides a “mobile telecoms suite that can set up broadband Internet access, fax lines, and all the equipment needed to staff a fully-functioning office in the field.”