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Australian political parties and digital rights lobby groups today erupted in outrage after a Wikileaks leak of the intellectual property rights chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement revealed Australians could be slugged with new draconian measures if caught infringing copyright online.The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multi-national trade agreement that threatens to extend what many see restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules on its enforcement. A number of major countries are currently negotiating the agreement, including the US, Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and Brunei Darussalam.Leaked draft texts of the agreement have previously shown that the intellectual property chapter would have extensive ramifications for users’ freedom of speech rights, right to privacy and due process, and could hinder innovation. The process of the TPP negotiations has been shrouded in secrecy and the full text of drafts of the proposed agreement has never been publicly released.Last month the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade took the extraordinary step of rescinding confirmations of attendance for journalists who had registered to attend a public briefing on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in Sydney, stating that the meeting was “off-the-record”, and that journalists are not welcome.”Overnight, Wikileaks published a leaked draft of the intellectual property chapter of the TPP. It reveals, among a number of other moves to tighten countries’ IP regulations, that those caught conducting copyright infringement activities online (‘Internet piracy’) could face criminal charges.The leak caused instant outrage in Australia, with a wide range of groups active in digital rights issues raising an outcry regarding the stipulations of the trade agreement.“CHOICE is deeply concerned at a proposal from the United States to expand criminal liability for copyright infringement. This would mean that domestic non-commercial infringement could become a criminal act,” said Alan Kirkland, chief executive of consumer advocacy group CHOICE, in a statement issued this morning. “While CHOICE condemns copyright infringement, we certainly don’t agree that an individual downloading Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones for personal use should be open to criminal prosecution.”And it’s not just piracy criminalisation Australians should be concerned about.“The United States appears to be proposing a raft of measures that would be disastrous for Australian consumers if they made the final text,” said Kirkland. “This includes a ban on parallel importation, which involves purchasing products from overseas retailers and shipping them to Australia.”