The TPP will Foster Digital Trade & Grow Our Economy

February 18, 2016

Each year, the American film and television industry distributes films to over 140 countries around the world – supporting nearly two million American jobs throughout all fifty states. Our industry registered a positive services trade surplus of $13.1 billion in 2014.

A growing part of this trade surplus is revenue from online distribution. International audiences have access to over 450 legitimate online platforms for watching movies and TV shows, and there is potential for further growth. These services help drive revenue back into the American economy.

The MPAA is enthusiastically supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), in part, because it will foster the growth of online distribution with its market opening disciplines and robust protections for copyright.

We recently outlined to the International Trade Commission how the TPP will tackle some of these barriers, fostering the production, distribution and enjoyment of creative content online.

First, the TPP precludes governments from discriminating against foreign content online, ensuring that consumers will continue to be able to enjoy access to diverse content.

Second, the TPP harmonizes copyright protections, which will facilitate global trade in creative works, including online. Specifically, the TPP includes protections for technological protection measures (TPMs), which allow creators to control access to their works and, in so doing, enable the functionality of online business models, contributing to the expansion of digital offerings for viewing movies and TV shows. Similarly, the TPP harmonizes the term of protection for copyrighted works to the global minimum standard.

Third, the TPP provides that electronic transmissions between TPP parties are duty-free.

The TPP is a significant accomplishment with equally significant potential to foster legitimate global trade in creative works by opening foreign markets and protecting creative rights. This will strengthen U.S. competiveness and allow creativity and innovation to continue to thrive in the digital age.