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U.S. Copyright Lobby Complains About Canadian Copyright

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Tuesday February 12, 2008
The International Intellectual Property Alliance, a U.S.-based copyright lobby group representing the music, movie, and software lobbies, has released its annual list of demands for copyright reforms in dozens of countries around the world.  Once again, Canada is in good company.  The IIPA targets 51 countries including leading European countries (Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Greece, Hungary), Asian countries (Japan, South Korea), New Zealand, Israel, and a host of countries in South America and Africa.

On the Canadian front, the IIPA notes that Canada implemented anti-camcording legislation, but it wants more.  Much more.  Demands include WIPO implementation, clarification of privacy copying, tougher measures on ISPs, and more IP enforcement.  The group makes it clear that it wants Canada to move well beyond WIPO implementation by instead following the DMCA model, arguing that Canada "should jettison the approach taken by Bill C-60" which took advantage of the flexibility found in the WIPO treaties.   The IIPA report will no doubt play a key role in this year's USTR Special 301 report, which will again claim that Canada lags behind on copyright issues.

Yet the reality is that there are many areas where Canadian law is more restrictive than that found in the U.S. Moreover, Canadian officials have rightly dismissed the USTR Special 301 process as little more than a lobbying exercise.  In fact, the IIPA laments comments from a senior Canadian Foreign Affairs official who last year rightly told a Parliamentary committee that:

In regard to the watch list, Canada does not recognize the 301 watch list process. It basically lacks reliable and objective analysis. It's driven entirely by U.S. industry. We have repeatedly raised this issue of the lack of objective analysis in the 301 watch list process with our U.S. counterparts. I also recognize that the U.S. industry likes to compare anyone they have a problem with, concerning their IPR regime, to China and the other big violators, but we're not on the same scale. This is not the same thing. If you aren't on the watch list in some way, shape, or form, you may not be of importance. Most countries with significant commercial dealings are on the watch list.

While it is great to see that Canadian officials have a realistic perspective on these lobbying efforts, it remains to be seen whether Industry Minister Jim Prentice will simply cave to U.S. pressure by ignoring the advice of Canadian officials in giving the IIPA exactly what it demands.
Comments (12)add comment

a guest said:

...
We need a Canadian human rights watchlist with USA right at the top.
February 12, 2008

Harold Jarche said:

...
Perhaps an election will put this issue on ice and give us a chance to educate our politicians. They might actually listen during an election campaign.
February 12, 2008

Old Bill said:

Losing Hope
To Harold
With the possibility of an election coming soon, it would seem to be logical that "They might actually listen during an election campaign".
However I suspect all that we will get are the old lines "about listening to the public" etc etc, and once elected, proceed with their own agenda. I've become very disillusioned with our current government, and not very enthusiastic about any of the alternatives.
In my humble opinion, the only way any issue gets resolved in a manner favourable to the public, is when we the public make such an overwhelming fuss & outcry, that even the stone gargoyles on Parliament Hill will hear it and take notice.
February 12, 2008

Hannon said:

...
The worldwide experts in waterboarding appear to want to broaden their audience for that particular brand of IP.
February 12, 2008

a guest said:

evolution
Sharing is in our genes: it is one of the human been most valuable attribute. You cannot stop evolution and human evolution is going towards a more "human" attitude sharing ideas, culture, and wealth; never the other way around. Old businesses models based on profit and greed will be soon no more sustainable. This is a side effect of education and you can easily understand why USA, being by will one of the most uneducated western countries, is trying to bully the rest of the world.
February 12, 2008

R. Bassett Jr. said:

Insulting, to say the least
What they fail to point out is that the RCMP focuses heavily on reducing commercial copyright infringement, using the perfectly effective laws we already have in place. However, there are only so many hours in a day and only so many Officers.

For all but the major cities in Canada, such as Toronto and Vancouver, one's only access to pirated software is a friend or family member who has purchased the software legally. The issue of RETAIL SALES of pirated software is being vastly over-stated, because hyperbole grabs headlines, of course.

I find the treatment of our nation's laws, law enforcement officers, and morals insulting; We're doing the best we can in many areas of world issues and, apart from Iraq [in which we were not alone], when called upon to help we've always been there. I guess that doesn't account for much these days. Indeed, we're all just a bunch of no good thieves who are incapable of managing their own nation justly...
February 12, 2008

Chris Brand said:

And what if we did give them what they w
Somehow I doubt that they'd then shut up. Like any bully, they'd be back the next day asking for more.

The best way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them.
February 12, 2008

JP said:

...
We are the Borg USA! USA! USA! We're number 1!!!!!
We will draft your laws and limit your freedoms to resemble our own
You politicians will be bought with lobbyist money to serve us.
You will assimilated
Resistance to Prentice's plans is futile
February 12, 2008

KDH said:

Not a high enough priority???
What does the IIPA propose gets shuffled down the priority list for the RCMP, CBSA and Crown prosecutors? Border security? I think it would have been a hoot if, when an IIPA lobbyist came into Canada, they'd have been arrested because they had an unlocked cell-phone.
February 12, 2008

Ole Juul said:

Sovereignty
U.S. lobby group? Excuse me! Who invited them in?

I am pleased that Ms. Nancy Segal has the guts to speak of Canada as a sovereign country. I wish more officials would do so. If we don't stand up to U.S. lobby groups what are going to do when China learns this game and starts making "requests"?
February 12, 2008

Shane C. said:

...
Why the hell am I paying taxes to a worthless, powerless government that only knows how to bend over and say "Yes, USA may I have another?"? Why? We might as well change the name of the country to Canamerica, or maybe Americanada, and our flag should be the puckered lips of former Canadian citizens smack-dab planted on the US's ass. The Canadian government along with Prentice have no idea that Canadians want laws for Canadians by Canadians.
February 13, 2008

someguy said:

...
Yes lets just do what some retarded Americans think cause they have money... Since thats all that really matters...

Just cause America is in corporations pocket doesn't mean every country should be. I don't want to become a Fascist nation like the USA.
February 17, 2008

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