Europe Considers Using CETA To Create “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Plus”

As Canada and the European Union continue their negotiations on a trade deal, a source has provided a copy of the EU proposal for the criminal intellectual property provisions. The IP criminal provisions was the one aspect left out of early drafts (the CETA leak from last year is available here). The initial EU proposal uses the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement’s criminal provisions as the model. This includes ACTA Article 23 on Criminal Offences (criminal provisions for wilful trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy on a commercial scale), ACTA Article 24 on Penalties (including imprisonment), ACTA Article 25 on Seizure, Forfeiture, and Destruction, and ACTA Article 26 on Ex Officio Criminal Enforcement. Several of these provisions would require domestic legislative change in Canada that were not found in Bill C-32 (suggesting that an IP enforcement bill will be introduced sometime in the near future).

Much like in ACTA negotiations, the EU is rejecting the request for inclusion of an anti-camcording provision in CETA. Canada enacted anti-camcording measures under pressure from the U.S. several years ago. The U.S. sought similar provisions in ACTA, but the EU ensured that the provision was optional, not mandatory.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the EU criminal IP proposal is the internal divide over whether it should extend beyond ACTA to create an ACTA+. According to documents I’ve seen, Italy has called for the broadest possible scope for CETA, including geographical indications (yes, criminal provisions for geographical indications). Despite the fact that this extends well beyond ACTA, the Italian position is supported by Portugal, Greece, France, Romania, and the Czech Republic. In fact, the Czech Republic would also like to extend the criminal provisions to designs. The UK, Austria, and Finland oppose extending the provision beyond ACTA. The decision was ultimately made to start by proposing the ACTA language and consider progress on the remaining IP related issues in CETA before escalating European demands.


  1. Are these counter measures to slow down China’s growth and world influence or just idiots selling their country for promises of cushy jobs a signing bonuses when they want to enter the private sector?

  2. Term extension
    Did the documents you saw have anything about copyright term extensions? has been reporting for a long time that the EU is trying to steal away another 20 years worth of Public Domain books from Canadians, and the same is probably true for sound recordings as well. The Entertainment/Copyright Industry is doing a great job keeping this out of the mainstream press though, I got to give them that.