By Andrew Feinberg and Brendan Sasso - 05/08/12 10:16 PM EDT
THE LEDE: Dozens of major trade associations urged President Obama on Tuesday to fight for tough intellectual property protections in negotiations over an Asian-Pacific trade agreement.
The letter to the president was signed by many of the same groups that lobbied for controversial anti-piracy legislation earlier this year, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
The industry groups urged the administration to make sure that the final agreement includes "comprehensive and high-standards for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights — including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets."
The letter asked Obama to fight any attempts to weaken existing intellectual property protections.
The groups argued that tough intellectual property protections drive economic growth and create jobs.
But some reform groups, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have denounced the proposed agreement as overreaching, and warn that it would force other countries to adopt policies designed to benefit American copyright holders. Critics have compared the proposed TPP agreement to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which has sparked protests in Europe.
"The strong IP protections proposed by the U.S. government in the TPP negotiations do not represent, as some suggest, a threat to public health, the development and expansion of the Internet or rights of freedom of speech, but rather a much-needed response to increasingly sophisticated threats to IP protection throughout the world," the industry groups wrote in their letter.
Senate to probe administration's privacy plan: The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will examine the Obama administration’s plan to protect online privacy on Wednesday.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Jon Leibowitz and Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen will testify, along with Cameron Kerry, the Commerce Department's general counsel and brother of committee member Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).
The White House announced its “Privacy Bill of Rights” in February. The guidelines declare that consumers have the right to control the data that groups collect on them and the right to access that data. The administration said privacy policies should be easy to understand and companies should protect user data from hacking and leaks.
The administration has urged Congress to enact the guidelines into law.
In March, the FTC released its own report on online privacy that outlined voluntary standards that companies should adopt. The commission also recommended that Congress enact certain protections into law.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Groups pressed for a Senate hearings on the News Corp. scandal.
FTC settled with MySpace over privacy violations.
Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) criticized the Verizon-cable deal.
Twitter asked a court to reject a motion by prosecutors to hand over the personal information of one of its users.
A new anti-piracy warning will appear before movies.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachwoski fired back at AT&T over its failed merger with T-Mobile.