Today, Public Knowledge sent a letter to United States Trade Representative Michael Froman urging him to protect the rights of American consumers of intellectual property goods. Public Knowledge remains concerned that provisions in the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement could harm Americans by weakening exceptions and limitations available under U.S. law, including fair use.

The following can be attributed to Gene Kimmelman, President & CEO of Public Knowledge:

“Although protecting intellectual property abroad is a worthy goal, we must not lose sight of the exceptions and limitations which allow for robust consumer participation in the marketplace. Things such as fair use and the public domain are hugely valuable components of the American system, allowing creative and political dialogue to flourish. Any agreement which does not include these existing protections should not leave the negotiating table. We urge Ambassador Froman to give careful consideration to the needs and desires of consumers at home before all else.”

The following can be attributed to Meredith Rose, Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:

“Public Knowledge and others have expressed serious concerns about how this trade agreement, which has been negotiated entirely behind closed doors, threatens to impact Americans. Leaked drafts contain multiple provisions that are inconsistent with American law — to the detriment of consumers. Over-expansive copyright and patent protections can lead to unintended consequences. We urge the United States Trade Representative to protect consumers by maintaining exceptions like fair use.”

You may view the letter here.