Protect U.S. Copyright and Patent Rights Overseas

Target: President Obama and government officials in charge of the transatlantic free trade agreement (TAFTA)

Goal: Exclude intellectual property provisions from a new free trade agreement

A new trade deal between the United States and the European Union called the “transatlantic free trade agreement” (or TAFTA) was announced last month by President Obama. The agreement, while potentially opening up new trade opportunities for both parties, also carries with it several risks regarding digital and intellectual properties which include trademark disputes, harsh data protection measures, and ISP policing.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has sent a letter to Obama and other officials urging them to exercise caution when navigating the tricky waters of IP protection. The letter contains two major requests; the first is that both the United States and European Union release texts detailing all TAFTA negotiations to the public in a timely fashion. The EFF believes that “secretive” trade negotiations are not an acceptable way to devise laws and acts that would affect the entirety of both nations.

The second request is that provisions regarding intellectual properties such as copyright, trademarks, data protection, and patent filings be left out of TAFTA on the grounds that such provisions could impede an individual’s rights to health, culture, and free expression. This request is spurred by past trade agreements between the U.S. and Europe that, while increasing the privileges of multinational corporations, have often come at the expense of individual societal rights.

Help support the EFF’s request to President Obama and government officials by signing this petition letter.


Dear President Obama and other TAFTA officials,

I urge you to give strong consideration to the letter that was sent you by the Electronic Frontier Foundation regarding the transatlantic free trade agreement (TAFTA). While it is never easy trying to work out new trade agreements with other nations, it is still important to ensure that individual rights are not sacrificed for the sake of compromise.

The EFF’s requests to both have public access to TAFTA negotiations and to leave intellectual property provisions out of TAFTA’s language would not only ensure better facilitation between corporate and individual needs, they would also help protect the IP rights of both big businesses and individual users. By signing this petition letter, I am offering my support for the EFF’s requests and I am stating my hope that you’ll see fit to grant them.


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