TiSA, or the Trade in Services Agreement, is a trade accord currently being negotiated by 23 member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), including the EU, the U.S., Japan, Costa Rica, and Israel. TiSA aims to further open these markets up for trade in services, such as e-commerce, cross-border data flows, and technology transfer. The negotiations of this agreement were launched in 2013 and are taking place behind closed doors. They are not subject to public to the same pressure for transparency, as other infamous trade agreements have been in the past, including ACTA, the current TPP, and the TTIP. However, this trade deal could have a similar, if not bigger, impact on digital rights and particularly the rights to privacy, data protection and freedom of expression.
The European Commission is imminently expected to commence a public consultation on the subject of online platforms as part of the Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy.
The consultation may be of particular interest to technology companies operating online platforms, rights holders, major users of online platforms (such as banks), data providers (such as market data or demographic data companies) and consumer or digital rights groups.
The draft of the consultation paper, containing 92 questions, has been leaked onto the Internet here.
The European Commission is preparing a new attempt to force search engines and news portals pay media companies for promoting their freely accessible articles. Earlier attempts at establishing this principle resulted in Germany’s and Spain’s ancillary copyright laws for press publishers. These attempts backfired – with tremendous collateral damage.
According to a draft communication on copyright reform leaked yesterday (via IPKat), the Commission is considering putting the simple act of linking to content under copyright protection. This idea flies in the face of both existing interpretation and spirit of the law as well as common sense. Each weblink would become a legal landmine and would allow press publishers to hold every single actor on the Internet liable.
The Europol work programme until the end of the year 2016 reveals that the agency’s goals are to gradually expand its surveillance capacities, to facilitate cross-border access to data, and increase the use of biometrics.
The Spanish Association of Internet users publishes and discusses the new leaked draft of the Digital Tax bill (known as Canon Digital), that would amend the Intellectual Property Law, if approved. In the opinion of the authors, the new draft doubles down in hurtful practices, abiding to the will of the industry and hurting the consumers.