29 Organizations and More than 70 Individuals Sign Letter Opposing Life Plus Seventy Year Copyright Term in TPP

29 organizations and more than 70 individuals signed on to the final letter opposing copyright terms of life plus seventy years in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). A PDF version of the final letter is attached below. An earlier version of the letter with a substantial number of signatures was sent to all lead IP negotiators and all chief negotiators in the TPP on Friday, 6 December 2013, in advance of the TPP ministerial.

With regard to the United States, a copy of the letter was sent to Probir Mehta (USTR, lead IP negotiator for the US) and Barbara Weisel (USTR, chief negotiator for the US). Copies were also sent to Stan McCoy (USTR), Shira Perlmutter (USPTO), Maria Pallante (Library of Congress) and Maria Strong (Library of Congress).

The organizations signing the letter included a diverse group from TPP countries, as well as a few from outside the negotiating parties. These groups represent consumer interests, libraries and digital rights. Individuals signing are residents from 19 countries, including from TPP negotiating parties Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States. These individuals include numerous academics, librarians, representatives of NGOs and IGOs, and concerned citizens.

December 6, 2013

Dear TPP negotiators,

In a December 7-10 meeting in Singapore you will be asked to endorse a binding obligation to grant copyright protection for 70 years after the death of an author. We urge you to reject the life + 70 year term for copyright.

There is no benefit to society of extending copyright beyond the 50 years mandated by the WTO. While some TPP countries, like the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Singapore or Australia, already have life + 70 (or longer) copyright terms, there is growing recognition that such terms were a mistake, and should be shortened, or modified by requiring formalities for the extended periods.

The primary harm from the life + 70 copyright term is the loss of access to countless books, newspapers, pamphlets, photographs, films, sound recordings and other works that are “owned” but largely not commercialized, forgotten, and lost. The extended terms are also costly to consumers and performers, while benefiting persons and corporate owners that had nothing to do with the creation of the work.

Life + 70 is a mistake, and it will be an embarrassment to enshrine this mistake into the largest regional trade agreement ever negotiated.


American Archivists (SAA)
American Library Association (ALA)
Association for Progressive Communications
Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)
CIPPIC, the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law
Communia Association
Consumers International
Creative Commons
Creative Freedom Foundation
Derechos Digitales
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL)
Free Software Foundation (FSF)
Gene Ethics
International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA)
Internet Archive
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
Modern Poland Foundation
Movement for the Internet Active Users
New Media Rights
Open Knowledge Foundation
Pirate Party Australia
Public Citizen
Public Knowledge (PK)
Wikimedia Foundation
Young Pirates of Europe


Angela Daly, Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria
Trish Hepworth, Australian Digital Alliance
Peter Jeremy, Sydney, NSW
Athina Mavromataki, Monash Public Library Service, Mount Waverly, Victoria
Bob Phelps, Carlton
Lyle Taylor, Mudgeeraba, Queensland
Kimberlee Weatherall, Associate Professor, The University of Sydney

Tesh Dagne (JSD), Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC
Michael A. Geist, Professor, and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law
Mark A. McCutcheon, Associate Professor of Literary Studies, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta
Peter J. McLaren CPA, CGA, CFE, Langley, BC

Alberto Cerda, ONG Derechos Digitales

Keisuke Katsuki, MIAU, Tokyo

Jeremy Malcolm, Consumers International, Kuala Lumpur

Daniel Dahink Arriola, Mexico City
Jorge Ringenbach, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City
León Felipe Sánchez Ambía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City

New Zealand
Hadyn Green, Consumer NZ, Wellington
Kevin Prince, Christchurch

United States
Jane Anderson, Professor of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Brook K. Baker, Northeastern U. School of Law, Boston, MA
Brandon Butler, American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC
Margaret Chon, Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, WA
Danielle M. Conway, University of Hawaii at Manoa, William S. Richardson School of Law, Honolulu, HI
Thomas F. Cotter, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN
Sean Flynn, American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC
Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law, Santa Clara, California, USA
Wendy Gordon, Boston University School of Law, Boston, MA
William Hubbard, The University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, MD
Steven D. Jamar, Howard University School of Law, Washington, DC
Dennis S. Karjala, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Derek Khanna, previous fellow with Yale Law School’s Information Society Project
Margot Kaminski, Information Society Project at Yale Law School, New Haven, CT
Dave Levine, Elon Law/Stanford Law Center for Internet and Society, Greensboro, NC.
Yvette Joy Liebesman, Saint Louis University School of Law, Saint Louis, MO
Lee Ann W. Lockridge, Louisiana State University Law Center, Baton Rouge, LA
Michael Madison, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, PA
Mark McKenna, Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, IN
Ira Steven Nathenson, St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami Gardens, FL
Charles Nesson, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA
David S. Olson, Boston College Law School, Newton, MA
Laura Quilter, Copyright and Information Policy Attorney & Librarian, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst, MA
Srividhya Ragavan, Professor of Law, University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, OK
Michael Risch, Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, PA
Guy Rub, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Columbus, OH
Pam Samuelson, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, UC Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley, CA
Susan Sell, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, DC
Ted Sichelman, University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, CA
Jessica Silbey, Suffolk Law School, Boston, MA
Rebecca Tushnet, Georgetown Law School, Washington, DC
Robin Gross, IP Justice, San Francisco, CA
Seth Johnson, New York, NY
John T. Mitchell, Interaction Law, Washington, DC
Jorge R. Roig, Charleston, SC

Viviana Munoz Tellez, South Centre

Alek Tarkowski, Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt Polska, Warsaw

Dr. Arul George Scaria, Centre for Philosophy of Law, Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), Louvain la neuve
Patrick S. Ryan, Senior Affiliated Researcher, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

The Netherlands
Paul Keller, Kennisland, Amsterdam
Joris van Soest, Yacht, The Hague

Yann Forget, Annemasse
Ellen ‘t Hoen, LLM, Paris

Swaraj Paul Barooah, SpicyIP, New Delhi
N. Sai Vinod, P-PIL (Promoting Public Interest Lawyering), New Delhi

Sylvia Kierkegaard, International Association of IT Lawyers

Fatima Cambronero, AGEIA DENSI Argentina, Cordoba

United Kingdom
Ray Corrigan, Open University
Estelle Derclaye, University of Nottingham, School of Law, Nottingham
Michael Maggs, Berkhamsted, Herts

Nikolaos Tsemperlidis, KEPKA – Consumers Protection Center, Thessaloniki

Maricarmen Sequera, ONG TEDIC.org, Asunción-Paraguay