The administration has characterized the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement as “an ambitious, next-generation, Asia-Pacific trade agreement.” It is being negotiated with Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru Singapore and Vietnam — with Canada and Mexico as set to join.

CCIA’s View:

CCIA supports the speedy completion of a high-quality “21st century” Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. A 21st-century agreement will contain provisions that permit the smooth functioning of the industry of the 21st century — the Internet. The Internet is visibly revolutionizing the way businesses — including small and medium enterprises — function. Without a smoothly functioning Internet, the negotiated provisions of TPP will not yield the desired gains for TPP citizens.

First, TPP must include balanced intellectual property rules. An intellectual property regime can allow technological progress only if it appropriately balances the competing interests between encouraging investment and enabling information access. Because the international trade regime has generally lacked flexible IP provisionis to promote innovation, it is necessary to modernize the IP provisions of the aging trade framework to be consistent with Internet and high-technology innovation.

Second, TPP should promote the free flow of information online, recognizing that blocking bits at the border is as much as affront to international free trade as blocking physical goods. The ability of U.S. businesses to operate effectively on a global scale depends fundamentally on open information flows. When foreign governments block online information, when businesses are impeded for using the Internet to reach international markets, when secure corporate communications are not assured, the collateral damage is done to U.S. exports and U.S. jobs.

Most Recent Statements&Findings:

IBM, TurboHercules and the Problems with the Patent System

One of CCIA’s smaller members, TurboHercules SAS, has received a lot of attention recently surrounding its antitrust dispute with IBM, especially because IBM has chosen to rattle its many patent sabers at this much smaller competitor by providing a list of 173 potentially infringed patents. What makes this story a little different from a classic patent shakedown is that TurboHercules…

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CCIA Praises FCC’s Request For Comments On Broadband Classification

The FCC has approved a formal process today to gather feedback on the FCC chairman’s proposal to narrowly reclassify the transmission component of broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service. FCC Chaiman Julius Genachowski’s so-called “third way” would excuse Internet Access Providers from price regulation, but it would limit their ability to discriminate and prioritize…

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CCIA Weighs In On FCC's "Third Way" Tonight On C-SPAN

The FCC’s proposed rules to protect non-discriminatory access to the Internet for households and small businesses are needed to ensure no Internet Access Provider regulates the Internet, said Computer & Communications Industry Association Vice President Cathy Sloan on a C-SPAN program this weekend.“The Communicators” program on the proposal to reclassify the transmission of high speed…

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CCIA Weighs In On FCC’s “Third Way” Tonight On C-SPAN

The FCC’s proposed rules to protect non-discriminatory access to the Internet for households and small businesses are needed to ensure no Internet Access Provider regulates the Internet, said Computer & Communications Industry Association Vice President Cathy Sloan on a C-SPAN program this weekend.“The Communicators” program on the proposal to reclassify the transmission of high speed…

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Misadventures in Copyright Enforcement

A new copyright enforcement venture started making headlines earlier this year: the U.S. Copyright Group (USCG). Although the USCG name just recently started getting attention, it appears connected to the Leesburg, VA law firm Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver (DGW), which was established in 1999. The logos for USCG and DGW are the same and Thomas Dunlap, a named partner of DGW, filed several mass–defendant (PDF) complaints (PDF) on behalf…

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CCIA Comments On New Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group

Leading broadband and technology companies announced plans today for a voluntary Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group. The group would give advice to the FCC on Internet engineering issues like network management for congestion, peering, local interconnection, privacy, data security, and cooperation with law enforcement. The Computer & Communications Industry Association had previously recommended the formation…

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