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Canada Remains in Good Company in USTR Special 301 Report

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Friday April 25, 2008
The U.S. Trade Representative has released its annual Special 301 report, in which it criticizes dozens of countries over their intellectual property laws while ignoring its own shortcomings.  Despite demands from the copyright lobby that Canada be placed on the "Priority Watch List," Canada is again on the lower level Watch List along with 35 other countries including Norway, Greece, Italy, Spain, and South Korea.  The USTR press release states that "Canada has taken some significant steps in the past year and, given the importance of the outstanding issues and maturity of its economy, we look forward to additional action in the coming months on the IP reforms identified as key priorities by the Government of Canada."

While the U.S. copyright lobby wasted no time in lamenting the decision to keep Canada at the lower list, Canadians would do well to keep the Special 301 exercise in proper perspective.  The U.S. criticizes so many countries (46 this year) that the process has little credibility.  Moreover, other countries have begun to challenge the U.S. on this issue and raise greater awareness of how the U.S. is itself non-compliant on some copyright issues.  Canada has not defended itself within the Special 301 process, but at least officials have placed it in the proper perspective as an official with the Department of Foreign Affairs told a House of Commons committee last spring 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.
Comments (8)add comment

YOU MEAN said:

YOU MEAN
what yo mean is that , by removing our rights and freedoms hollywood is pleased that the ISP's sucked there (censored)
and towed the line as lil corporate slaves
April 25, 2008

Steve said:

What\'s this?
Has the friendly, amicable, Canada finally "grown a set" and decided to stand up to the big US industry lobbies?
Good on you!

Next thing you know, the sheeple will wake up and see how they have been manipulated by big media, big industry, big oil, big lobbie$, much to the detriment of their personal freedoms.

After that, if it happens, they'll all become open source communists and intillectual proprety infringers.

Oh my!
April 25, 2008

The Swede said:

Be proud
Countries listed as bad by US on that silly Special 301 report should often have reasons to be proud!

Think of the consequences if a country complied by 100% with what the US industry wants! The consequence would be that every organization and every citizen outside US should shut up and lobotomized open up their wallets to the dictation of US industry.

And would US be satisfied then? No. Then it would be another Annual Special Report that listen countries that did not open up their wallets wide enough!

/The Swede
April 26, 2008

dandin1 said:

Report
After reading a few parts of the document, to me it would seem that it's more of a list of countries who did not respond to the bullying of American multinationals. It seems to judge some areas by the number of copyright related cases that landed in court, and cites 'the industry' for vital information, who is, as we all know, completely unbiased and always provide accurate statistics, right? There's not much credibility to be found in the report.
April 27, 2008

Ole Juul said:

Article on Ars
Ars Technica just put up a story on this too. [ link ] Nice to see Michael Geist prominently mentioned. It also quotes William Patry as saying:

"the sheer arrogance and affront to the sovereignty of foreign governments by the IIPA's annual reports and effort to penalize those governments that do not toe the IIPA's line is breathtaking."

That just about sums it up.


April 28, 2008

Mark said:

Bargaining
No doubt they're well aware that the government has been trying to install U.S.-style copyright legislation here in Canada, and this is just a pressure tactic.
April 28, 2008

ya americans are stupid said:

2nd poster is a noob
it is not communist to be fair and good to people
to the second poster , what he means is be good little facist corporate CONsumers and let people die in streets while i have my latee.

and to which we can always bring up the 1billion that the USA stole of intellectual property called softwood lumber from canada and he traitor stephen harper sold out in a deal with his buddies aka republicans while the next day we won the FINAL appeal to get that cash back.

ALSO the SAC 5$ liscense fee for music Warner brothrs also now seeks to do with isps for its movies see the facebook for "scott allison" for replies and solutions on howto do it.
now they get 60mill from the cdr levy
5$ gets 1.2 billion
i say we give 1$(thats 120 million) for music and 2(thats 240million) for movies and for software GO OPENSOURCE thats right, 250000 projects on sourceforge.net
with that much available ya must be a LOT A COMMUNISTS in the SOFTWARE industry considering apache runs what 65% of the worlds servers HAHA and ya have to include those opensource windows games !!!over 14000 of them.
April 28, 2008

Greg Hagen said:

Public Policy Forum and Copyright
For a report in Embassymag on the public policy forum: [ link ]

Some practitioners inadvertently distort the nature and implications of IP law in discussions because they are so used to representing the interests of their clients -who are predominantly owners of IP. Bloom is a good example of this. He says that "to be a global player, you've got to be player in the U.S." and that Canada is missing in action. But there is nothing in Canada's IP law that prevents Canadian companies from obtaining IP protection in the U.S.
April 30, 2008

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