We use user-generated contents such as Facebook and Youtube to share news, videos, and our daily lives. Sometimes, we put music to the video that we made by ourselves or look for pictures using Google search and use them just for personal blogs, non-commercial activities in other words, without any citations.
Even though most of us have experienced using pictures from a website without permission or downloading music or films for free, we usually don’t get into any troubles by doing it. However, what happens to the Internet freedom and its regulation if TPP is passed in the U.S. TPP impacts on not only trade but also Internet freedom.
Under TPP, Internet Service Providers will be encouraged to monitor their users’ activities to increase more censorship measures such as filtering the online contents based on copyright enforcement.
Because of this system which turns copyright law into powerful institutions, we may lose freedom of speech or innovation of the Internet in the future.
The U.S. is attempting to criminalize anyone publishing works in a commercial scale with penalties including prison and fines. Also, TPP could potentially impose Internet users for non-commercial activities like file sharing.
According to TPP, downloading music or movies for free may be regarded as the same as large-scale, for-profit copyright violations, and creating a Youtube video with clips from other videos or copyrighted music can be a reason for being imposed mandatory fines, even if it is for personal or educational purposes. Moreover, there is no exception for individual’s non-commercial copies of copyrighted stuffs.
TPP says that copyright terms will be extended for six of 12 negotiated countries by another 20 years. Therefore, monopoly copyrights would be extended and sharing user-generated contents would be more regulated and have new barriers.
One of the Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders is against TPP. “Make no mistake: if TPP passes, it will further hurt consumers and cost American jobs. So we must stop it, together,” he says. He regards TPP expands failed free trade policies, because it has already led to cost millions of jobs and shutter tens of thousands of factories across the United States, and it will curtail the Internet freedom. Plus, Trump and Hillary also agree to keep the Internet freedom.
People have already realized that our freedom of speech on the Internet is threaten by TPP. When I interviewed some classmates about what they think about losing Internet freedom, all of interviewees did not understand why TPP tries to regulate the Internet, and they think it is too extreme, so they all oppose it.
As my personal opinion, to regulate the Internet and its tracking system sound scary because it means that our privacy is threaten and we are under the surveillance of the U.S. society. However, some people it is okay that someone always checks which website I visited or what I typed on Google search because we do not know each other’s face. If the system works well without leaking privacy, I would agree with those who say it is okay.
The other thing that I concern is that now we can download music and movies for free and no one complains if we use a picture from an official website without permission, but to regulate the Internet freedom means that we could be imposed by doing it. Probably, all of us who use the Internet would be criminalized because of the regulation.