Delete the FTAA Treaty Chapter on Intellectual Property Rights sign now

We, the undersigned citizens of the Western Hemisphere, urge you to delete the chapter on intellectual property rights in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Treaty, set to take effect in 2005.

The FTAA Treaty chapter on intellectual property rights is hopelessly unbalanced and threatens the civil liberties of 800 million citizens of the Americas. The chapter's provisions would restrain trade, prevent competition, and stifle innovation throughout the Western Hemisphere.

The FTAA intellectual property rights chapter requires the 34 signatory nations to amend their domestic laws to dramatically expand criminal and civil penalties and procedures against intellectual property infringement. It proposes mandating that countries imprison non-commercial infringers such as Peer-2-Peer (P2P) file-sharers, and it restricts consumers' traditional fair use rights.

The FTAA Treaty's 'DMCA-like' anti-circumvention provisions would create monopolies for large intellectual property holders over building compatible devices. They also forbid consumers from bypassing the restrictions on their own music CDs, DVD movies, and eBooks, thereby creating greater barriers to trade, competition, and innovation.

These provisions outlaw critical scientific research and technical information, in violation of the freedom of expression rights guaranteed by the US Constitution and the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

The treaty's chapter on intellectual property is bloated with provisions to permit the copyrighting of facts and data, and it requires other nations to increase the length of copyright protection. Rather than being forced to adopt domestic policies that only benefit a few large foreign corporations, individual countries must retain their national sovereignty and remain in control of deciding fundamental policy choices about the appropriate scope and breadth of intellectual property rights.

See IP Justice's "Top 10 Reasons to Delete the FTAA's IP Chapter" or the educational website http://www.ipjustice.org/FTAA for more detailed analysis and information on the impact of the FTAA Treaty's intellectual property chapter.

While we do wish to reward authors and incentivize further creativity, FTAA's intellectual property rights chapter will harm the vast majority of creators and thwart the progress of science and useful arts. Nor does the agreement promote the values of free trade or democracy.

A chapter on intellectual property rights has no legitimate place in a free trade agreement and should be deleted in its entirety from the Free Trade Area of the Americas Treaty

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Yvonne McbrideBy:
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Petition target:
Trade Ministers of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Treaty

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