Wikileaks on CRIA and the U.S. Government: How They Combine to Lobby on Canadian Copyright

One of the most interesting revelations in the newly released Wikileaks cables is the close connection between the U.S. government and the Canadian Recording Industry Association on in lobbying the Canadian government on copyright reform.  Several cables reveal private meetings, access to internal documents, and strategy discussions. 

For example, a 2006 cable discusses efforts to convince Canada to join the U.S. WTO complaint against China (I wrote about the case here and here). The cable notes that embassy officials met with CRIA’s Graham Henderson to discuss “the U.S. Government’s role in encouraging the Government of Canada to pass legislation implementing the WIPO Internet Treaties.” Henderson also used the meeting to reveal the results of a private Canadian government consultation meeting on China and provided a private CRIA analysis on the case. The cable concludes that “CRIA is leading the charge to get the GOC to join the US case.”

As Bill C-61 neared introduction in December 2007 (ultimately delayed until June 2008), another cable advises that CRIA President Graham Henderson privately told U.S. officials that the bill was days away. During CRIA’s file sharing litigation, the group also kept the U.S. government well informed, with a May 2005 cable stating that:

“Post has seen CRIA’s initial in-house assessment of the decision, which is enthusiastically positive.  Post will continue to press for progress on IPR, following CRIA’s subsequent court actions and encouraging action on legislation.”

CRIA was also likely part of the group of associations that the U.S. Embassy says planned a joint “good cop, bad cop” strategy.  One cable notes:

some industry associations plan to use the anticipated USG insistence on notice and takedown as a chance to play good cop to our bad cop, and they will present their acceptance of notice and notice as a signal to the GOC that they are willing to be “more reasonable than the Americans”.

One Comment

  1. The close connection between the U.S. government and the Canadian Recording Industry Association …
    Did we ever think otherwise?

    Good job CRIA standing up for the interests of Canadian Artists above all else 0_o