Post Tagged with: "USTR"

Stop Being Poor: U.S. Piracy Watch List Hits A New Low With 2012 Report

The U.S. Trade Representative released its annual Special 301 Report yesterday, unsurprisingly including Canada on the Priority Watch list. While inclusion on the list is designed to generate embarrassment in target countries, this year’s report should elicit outrage. Not only is the report lacking in objective analysis, it targets some of the world’s poorest countries with no evidence of legal inadequacies and picks fights with any country that dare adopt a contrary view on intellectual property issues.

The inclusion of Canada on the priority watch list is so lacking in objective analysis as to completely undermine the credibility of the report. The Canadian “analysis” amounts to 173 words that hits on the usual dubious complaints (and given criticism of countries such as Chile for their notice-and-notice system, Israel for their statutory damages rules, and many countries on border enforcement, the Canadian criticism will clearly not end with the enactment of Bill C-11). By comparison, China is treated as equivalent to Canada on the priority watch list, yet garners over 4,600 words.

Earlier this year, I completed a submission with Public Knowledge to the USTR Special 301 process that examined current Canadian law as well as Bill C-11. It concluded:

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May 1, 2012 21 comments News

U.S. Says Canada Will Not Have A Say in the TPP

At a stakeholder meeting yesterday, the U.S. Trade Representative indicated that Canada would not have a voice in negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership. The USTR has adopted the position that late entrants such as Canada, Japan, and Mexico will have to take the agreement “as is”, potentially including copyright term […]

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March 7, 2012 5 comments Must Reads

Why Canada Does Not Belong on the U.S. Piracy Watchlist

In what has become an annual rite of spring, each April the U.S. government releases its Special 301 report – often referred to as the Piracy Watch List – which claims to identify countries with sub-standard intellectual property laws. Canada has appeared on this list for many years alongside dozens of countries. In fact, over 70% of the world’s population is placed on the list and most African countries are not even considered for inclusion.

While the Canadian government has consistently rejected the U.S. list because it “basically lacks reliable and objective analysis”, this year I teamed up with Public Knowledge to try to provide the U.S. Trade Representative Office with something a bit more reliable and objective. Public Knowledge will appear at a USTR hearing on Special 301 today. In addition, last week we participated in meetings at the U.S. Department of Commerce and USTR to defend current Canadian copyright law and the proposed reforms.

The full submission on Canadian copyright is available here. It focuses on four main issues: how Canadian law provides adequate and effective protection, how enforcement is stronger than often claimed, why Canada is not a piracy haven, and why Bill C-11 does not harm the interests of rights holders (critics of Bill C-11 digital lock rules will likely think this is self-evident). The section challenging the piracy haven claims states the following:

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February 23, 2012 28 comments News

KEI on Canada’s Entry to TPP Negotiations

KEI has responded to the USTR’s request for comment on Canada’s proposed entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. Its response identifies several issues including concerns over the inclusion of copyright term in the agreement.

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January 12, 2012 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

U.S. Pressures Spain Into SOPA Style Law

Canadians are familiar with U.S. pressure on intellectual property laws, but it is worth remembering that we are not alone. The latest target is Spain, with new revelations of U.S. threats of retaliation if Spain did not pass U.S. backed copyright rules.

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January 6, 2012 2 comments Must Reads