TPP Partners Eye Copyright Rules
Participating countries in Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact negotiations have agreed to introduce strict rules aimed at cracking down on counterfeit and pirated products in the field of intellectual property rights, sources close to the multilateral talks said.
The introduction of stricter rules will do much to curtail the distribution of lower-priced fake products, a move likely to make it easier for Japanese corporations to sell their goods at regular prices, according to observers.
The protection of intellectual property rights has been one of the contentious issues addressed during the 12-country free trade talks.
During the TPP negotiations, Japan urged other Pacific Rim countries to adopt rules as rigid as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, to which about 30 countries, including the United States and Canada, are signatories. Vietnam, Malaysia and three other emerging economies, none of which have signed the ACTA pact, also agreed to introduce stricter rules on intellectual property rights protection, according to the sources.
Japan, the proponent of the ACTA treaty, is the only one to have fully ratified the pact. The government is currently bolstering regulations on copyright infringement through such measures as law amendments. For instance, the Copyright Law was revised to outlaw the act of duplicating DVDs and other digital media by deactivating protection codes.
Criminal punishments are also possible for secretly recording movies under a law drafted by a group of Diet members. Intellectual property rights infringement is checked not only on imports, but also exports of products, to prevent counterfeit items produced abroad from being sold in third countries. …