Our campaign to fight the anti-user Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was a rollercoaster this year. Our mobilization against the Fast Track trade bill resulted in some major twists and turns before the sudden conclusion of the negotiations in the Fall, then finally after more than five years of secrecy, the governments officially released the completed TPP text. This definitively confirmed that this trade agreement contained a whole host of restrictive digital policies–including bans on circumventing DRM, heavy-handed criminal and civil penalties for copyright infringement, and excessive copyright term lengths. This, of course, was hardly surprising given the secret, corporate-captured process that plagued this deal from the very beginning.
As we continue on to the fight against the TPP’s ratification into 2016, it’s important to take stock of the critical battles that we’ve won along the way. This year was particularly notable in how much we were able to delay the conclusion and signature of the deal. That can largely be credited to hundreds of public interest organizations and individuals that worked together to put the brakes on the passage of the Fast Track legislation.
By the time the debate on Fast Track (officially called the Trade Promotion Authority) came to a head this past Summer, we had already been organizing to oppose it for months. We knew that if we wanted to stop the TPP, killing the Fast Track bill was our best chance to prevent the undemocratic process from getting even worse.