New Media Rights joins Knowledge Ecology International and others in cautioning against mandatory expanded copyright terms in the TPP

This week Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators will be asked to endorse a binding obligation granting copyright protection for 70 years after the death of an author.  New Media Rights joins Knowledge Ecology International, 26 other groups, and countless individuals from all over the world to tell TPP negotiators that adopting this term would be a mistake. As stated in the letter:

There is no benefit to society of extending copyright beyond the 50 years mandated by the WTO. While some TPP countries, like the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Singapore or Australia, already have life + 70 (or longer) copyright terms, there is growing recognition that such terms were a mistake, and should be shortened, or modified by requiring formalities for the extended periods.


The primary harm from the life + 70 copyright term is the loss of access to countless books, newspapers, pamphlets, photographs, films, sound recordings and other works that are “owned” but largely not commercialized, forgotten, and lost. The extended terms are also costly to consumers and performers, while benefiting persons and corporate owners that had nothing to do with the creation of the work.

NMR strongly supports comprehensive review of the economic and creative effects of excessively long copyright terms. We will continue to support evidence based copyright term reform through collations like these. We have already questioned a life + 70 term in our policy work, inluding our recent Comment responding to the Department of Commerce and the USPTO Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy , where we identified significant questions and problems that arise from a Life + 70 copyright term.  

Through shorter copyright terms, we hope to realize the purpose of copyright law, which is to encourage creativity while ensuring that creativity can actually reach the people.

The full text of the letter is attached below including all signatories to the letter as of December 6, 2013.

PDF icon KEI Letter83.49 KB

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