TPP & Gene Patents Info from IP Aus

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Pirate Party Australia is a political party based around the core tenets of freedom of information and culture; civil and digital liberties; privacy and anonymity; and government transparency.

We have made a Freedom of Information request to IP Australia regarding documents relating to an international treaty, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and related documents, such as information regarding gene patenting.

Click here to see why the TPP is a big issue for Australia and the world.

As part of our work, we often make freedom of information requests, and these requests are usually fulfilled reasonably quickly and without cost. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case.

IP Australia, a Government department that advises other departments on copyright, patent and trademark issues, has decided they will levy a fee of $1080 to fulfil a freedom of information request.

We have until September 30 to get the money we need or we'll miss the deadline!

All of the correspondence regarding the request can be found here on Right To Know.

As a completely individual donation funded organisation, we need your help to have this information that is absolutely in the public interest released so that the public may take informed positions on the important issues within the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the difficult issue of gene patenting.

Why should I care? How does this matter?

International treaties, especially multilateral agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, allow other nations to pressure countries such as ours into accepting provisions that would never pass through Parliament if suggested by any party.

These treaties are negotiated in secret, with the text only becoming public after it is too late to change anything. It is at this point that Government often accepts "the bad with the good", leading to awful changes to legislation such as some of the copyright provisions we imported with the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA).

It is important that the public is able to take part in an informed debate prior to these agreements being signed and ratified so that we may all take an informed position on the important issues of copyright, patents (including pharmaceutical patents and gene patents), generic medicines, public health, and investor-state dispute settlement provisions and the effect that the TPP will have on legislation in these areas.

There is no justification for trade agreements being negotiated in secret.

The TPP is thousands of pages long. We need as much information we can get before it is too late.

The Challenges

If you look through the documents in the correspondence, you will notice the part that annotates which pages are entirely redacted and partially redacted. The Freedom of Information Act does allow for the Government to make rather broad cuts into requested information before releasing it.

See the last three pages of this PDF for details on which documents are redacted and how many documents there are.

As such, your donation could go towards 800 pages of ultimately useless information with all the useful parts redacted, or it could be a turning point in activism on this critical issue of future Australian legislation.
on 30th Sep 2013 at 2:00am. The payment portal is closed now.
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