In a twist that will come as a shock to everyday users of the Internet, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could permanently close down the websites of newspapers across the World Wide Web.
“The problem is the very broad language of the intellectual property chapter,” explained Senator Ron Wyden, who finally received a transcript of each round of negotiations thus far last week. “It doesn’t talk about ‘copyright infringement’, but instead speaks of ‘copyright theft’.
If that phrase was to be taken literally, then any website which claims in its terms of service that its members automatically give it ‘a worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable licence (with right to sub-licence) to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform [user-generated] content’ could be shut down for their de facto stealing of their members copyrights.
This reporter, for one, can imagine it and is horrified. If the TPP has the capability of shutting down purely informational websites, then what hope for those who create fanworks and torrenters of Open Source Freeware?