The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Dragon Ball

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Bussani
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The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Dragon Ball

Post by Bussani » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:49 pm

Okay, stick with me here, because this does relate to Dragon Ball eventually.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (also known as TPP agreement, or TPPA) is a trade agreement that is being planned entirely behind closed doors by several countries. TPP, in its current form at least, has some rather scary propositions, such as forcing ISPs to police themselves and become the judge and jury on copyright infringement, possibly leading to you being banned from the internet without due process. But as of late, the part that's really been bothering me has been this: TPP would make it criminally illegal to circumvent region coding, i.e. to watch a DVD from a different region.

Now, I'm someone who's always believed in supporting the official release. I buy things here in New Zealand when they're available, and if they're not, I import them. As an example, Madman released the Orange Bricks here, but not the Dragon Boxes, so I had to import the region 1 versions. However, under TPP, it would become criminally illegal for me to watch them--even though I've already bought and paid for them! In fact, half of my rather large DVD collection would turn me into a criminal. I'm sure you can see why this has been weighing heavily on my mind. What am I going to do if it becomes impossible for me to support official releases that aren't available where I live? Legally, I'd have to stop reviewing films and TV shows for The Fanboy Review, too.

At first, I was only thinking about this from a New Zealand point of view. Not everything gets released here, which is why I have to import so much. But then it hit me: TPP aims to globalize copyright laws and make them the same everywhere, and every country that is part of TPP will be bound by these provisions. That means that anyone who lives in the US will also find themselves bound by these laws, meaning it could become illegal for you to, for example, watch a DVD imported from Japan. Ever dreamed of owning any of the region 2 Dragon Boxes, or already do? This agreement could make you into a criminal for watching them. I can't be the only one here who thinks that's awful.

So, what can we do? That's the hard part. TPP is being drawn up entirely in secret, and the only way we know most of the above is from versions that have been leaked. Not only that, but it's not like SOPA, where your senators would get a chance to vote on whether it passes or not. No, this one is a really tricky bugger, and I've been struggling with how to oppose it from my little New Zealand perspective. Luckily, a bunch of New Zealand groups concerned with this stuff--ranging from internet advocates to public libraries--have come together to form a coalition against these portions of the agreement. But what can people in the US do? Unfortunately, I'm a little fuzzy on that. I'm not sure which groups out there are opposing it, or what you can do to make your voices heard. I'd imagine that EFF and the new Internet Defense League are against it for their own reasons, so they might be a good place to start. Maybe we can all put our heads together as a communicty and come up with something. For now, I think it's a good idea to spread these news to anyone who'd be interested. Friends, family, other fans of anime and foreign films--whoever you think might be concerned with these proposals.

As I understand it, all of these scary prospects come from the US chapters of the agreement. That is, they are part of a wish-list put forward by the United States. Maybe if enough people within the US object to the ideas, something can be done about them. Surely the US people could have more sway over them than us New Zealanders!

Edit: TPPWatch may be a good website to check out on the subject. I follow their RSS feed for the latest news. You can also sign your name in opposition of the agreement.
Last edited by Bussani on Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
If TPP passes in your country it will be illegal for you to watch an imported DVD. Click here to learn more!

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Re: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Dragon Ball

Post by TripleRach » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:04 pm

Not that my word is law, but for the record, I endorsed the creation of this thread.

But I'm also biased, because I import a lot of media, so I think this is pretty scary stuff. I imagine a large percentage of the forum has imported DVDs, whether it's the Japanese Dragon Boxes, the Australian release of the Pilaf arc, one of the 8,000 FUNimation releases, the UK Big Green discs, etc. Not to mention video games, like various games that are unique to Japan, or games that are easier to find in PAL regions because of Atari problems in the US.
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Re: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Dragon Ball

Post by [SP] » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:05 pm

This TPP, it is like SOPA is being passed back into the Asia-Pacific region unfairly!
On a Dragon Ball note, it would make me a criminal to watch my imported DVDs? I got Kai Part 5 in the mail still in shrinkwrap, and Dragon Ball Season 4 coming in the mail soon, I can't watch them and be labeled as a criminal?
Just because I live in a country (Australia) that usually doesn't have what I want in the Madman Entertainment store.

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Re: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Dragon Ball

Post by johnboy1 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:10 pm

Well, if it is as bad as you say, take comfort in the fact that it's almost completely unenforceable. Unless you broadcast on very public channels that you're watching DVDs from another region, law enforcement is probably too busy with other things to come after you. After all, even if they can show that you've bought them and opened them, they can't prove that you've watched them unless you confess or they catch you red-handed.

I can't speak legalese, so I can neither confirm nor deny your interpretation, but I have a gut feeling that it's not quite that bad. And even if it is, proponents of individual rights will probably tie it up in the courts until it's basically forgotten.
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Re: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Dragon Ball

Post by Pokewhiz7 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:13 pm

Would this also effect imported manga?

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Re: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Dragon Ball

Post by Cipher » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:22 pm

johnboy1 wrote:Well, if it is as bad as you say, take comfort in the fact that it's almost completely unenforceable. Unless you broadcast on very public channels that you're watching DVDs from another region, law enforcement is probably too busy with other things to come after you. After all, even if they can show that you've bought them and opened them, they can't prove that you've watched them unless you confess or they catch you red-handed.

I can't speak legalese, so I can neither confirm nor deny your interpretation, but I have a gut feeling that it's not quite that bad. And even if it is, proponents of individual rights will probably tie it up in the courts until it's basically forgotten.
This.

Also, on a broad scale, global consistency in copyright laws are actually a very good thing for artists and IP holders. I can't say the specific wording on whatever comes out of this will be up-to-snuff, but rarely, if ever, can I see this impacting the bottom-line consumer in a negative way. If you're truly bothered by it, I'm sure you can pass your complaints through the proper channels.

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Re: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Dragon Ball

Post by Bussani » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:48 pm

[SP] wrote:This TPP, it is like SOPA is being passed back into the Asia-Pacific region unfairly!
On a Dragon Ball note, it would make me a criminal to watch my imported DVDs? I got Kai Part 5 in the mail still in shrinkwrap, and Dragon Ball Season 4 coming in the mail soon, I can't watch them and be labeled as a criminal?
Just because I live in a country (Australia) that usually doesn't have what I want in the Madman Entertainment store.
Australia has signed to be part of TPP, so yes, it would affect you too. Apparently Australia has been pretty against these parts of the agreement so far, though, so good on you guys.
Pokewhiz7 wrote:Would this also effect imported manga?
Shouldn't do.
johnboy1 wrote:Well, if it is as bad as you say, take comfort in the fact that it's almost completely unenforceable. Unless you broadcast on very public channels that you're watching DVDs from another region, law enforcement is probably too busy with other things to come after you. After all, even if they can show that you've bought them and opened them, they can't prove that you've watched them unless you confess or they catch you red-handed.
This is true, but I would be at least a little bit worried that they'd clamp down on what can be imported as a result of it. Would Amazon still let me buy DVDs from them if they knew it was illegal for me to watch them? Would Amazon Japan and CDJapan continue shipping to the US? And what about the methods of playing DVDs? Would multi-region DVD players be banned, too?

Granted, I may just be a worry-wart. I usually am. But hey, I have some personal stakes in this.
Cipher wrote:Also, on a broad scale, global consistency in copyright laws are actually a very good thing for artists and IP holders. I can't say the specific wording on whatever comes out of this will be up-to-snuff, but rarely, if ever, can I see this impacting the bottom-line consumer in a negative way.
I'd argue that the parts I'm calling attention to are less to do with copyright than they are to do with accessibility. All we want to do is buy stuff and watch it legally.

That said, I'm not sure I agree that globalizing these laws is a good idea. I don't think you can take the laws that work in one place, apply them to a completely different place, and expect them to work. Take New Zealand, for example. Parallel importing is legal here because it reduces costs, increases accessibility, and discourages outrageous price fixing. New Zealand is a tiny country with a tiny population, and because of that, parallel importing benefits us. It lets our libraries get buy more books and allows our stores to offer discount prices that are badly needed in the current economy. But TPP wants to make parallel importing illegal everywhere. So not only will it be illegal for me to watch an imported DVD, but I'll also have to pay higher prices for DVDs (amongst other things) that do come out here--and let me tell you, our prices are already higher than yours are. But like I said above, I don't think this has much to do with copyright itself at all.
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Re: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Dragon Ball

Post by Bussani » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:29 pm

Things have been a bit quiet when it comes to TPP lately (probably because it's still being created behind closed doors), and the news has been hard to relate directly to Dragon Ball, so I haven't been bumping this thread much. However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation put up a good article today and I wanted to share it.

TPP Creates Legal Incentives For ISPs To Police The Internet. What Is At Risk? Your Rights.

Anyone who uses the internet should be interested in this, and should probably click the big "Take Action" button at the bottom of the page. I focused on how TPP could affect us watching Dragon Ball related DVDs and blurays and the like before, but don't forget that it's also like a worse version of SOPA and ACTA combined. TPP could completely change the internet, and I can't even imagine what would happen to our little community here if that happened.

If this means anything to you, spread the word. Tell your friends and family. Every voice helps.
If TPP passes in your country it will be illegal for you to watch an imported DVD. Click here to learn more!

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Re: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Dragon Ball

Post by NintendoBlaze53 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:26 pm

No
that means my Kai: Part 4 from America (for the Yammamoto score)
and my Dragon Boxes are illegal or soon to be anyway.
This sucks for someone in Australia like me.
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