The public backlash mirrors similar concerns this summer when reports first emerged that CETA contained many ACTA-like provisions. The European Commission denied the reports, maintaining that the text had changed as a result of the European Parliament’s defeat of ACTA in July 2012, yet it now seems probable that ACTA provisions are part of CETA.
Reconciling the conflicting reports is possible, given that Canadian officials stated that no Copyright Act provisions would require change as a result of CETA. The inclusion of border measures and criminal provisions could require other legislative changes, resulting in a deceptive (albeit accurate) response. Indeed, Canadian officials said in August that the criminal ACTA provisions were still alive. The uncertainty and public concern raises the prospect of CETA facing serious opposition within Europe due to the copyright provisions. For example, the Dutch government has said it will not sign CETA if it includes ACTA provisions. While the patent issues are a major Canadian issue, copyright could emerge as a big problem for the agreement in Europe should ACTA provisions resurface within CETA.