The IIPA, the umbrella lobby group that represents the major movie, music, and entertainment software lobby groups, released its recommendations for the U.S. piracy watch list last week. Those that thought passing Bill C-11 – the Canadian copyright reform bill that contained some of the most restrictive digital lock rules in the world – would satisfy U.S. groups will be disappointed. The IIPA wants Canada back on the piracy watch list, one notch below the Special Watch List (where the US placed Canada last year).
Despite the praise for Bill C-11 last year, the groups are right back in criticism mode and demanding reforms. The IIPA is now unsure if the enabler provision will help stop sites that facilitate infringement (despite the fact that its members have yet to use the provision) and concerned with the prospect of new exceptions to the digital lock rules. In fact, its criticisms of the rules for Internet providers (it wants a notice-and-takedown system, tougher rules on search engines that link to infringing content, and new rules to target repeat infringers) are so strong that the organization implausibly claims possible non-compliance with the WIPO Internet treaties.
Moreover, the IIPA wants to undo many of the Bill C-11 changes. It criticizes the new non-commercial caps on statutory damages, the expansion of fair dealing, the non-commercial user generated content provision, the educational exception for publicly available materials on the Internet, and the new exception for temporary copies for technological processes. In other words, the groups are wary of virtually anything designed to provide some balance in the law. There are other targets as well including copyright term extension and more criminal copyright provisions. The Canadian government is unlikely to cave this quickly on copyright, but these demands highlight the pressure that will emerge during the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations and in bi-lateral discussions with the U.S.