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    EU Assures that CETA Does Not Contain ACTA Copyright Rules

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    Monday October 21, 2013
    While the Canadian government provided few details on the copyright rules in the Canada - EU Trade Agreement (largely emphasizing that CETA is consistent with recent copyright reforms), the European Commission posted an updated fact sheet on the issue. The European document focuses on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, providing assurances that CETA does not contain ACTA provisions with respect to Internet providers or criminal copyright provisions. The document, which appears to be a re-release of a year-old document, states:


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    Anti-Counterfeiting ACTA Bill Referred to Industry Committee

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    Thursday June 13, 2013
    Bill C-56, the anti-counterfeiting bill that opens the door the Canadian implementation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, has been referred to the Industry Committee for review. The government imposed time allocation on the bill to move it to committee. The debate on the bill yesterday suggested that all parties support the premise of the legislation, but the opposition wants further study and potential amendments. Perhaps most troubling was the intervention of the Liberal party, who are seeking to extend the bill to seizures of in-transit shipments. In Europe, in-transit shipment seizure provisions have led to seizures of generic pharmaceuticals, creating a major access-to-medicines concern.
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    Canadian ACTA Compliance Bill Inches Forward

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    Friday May 31, 2013
    Earlier this year, Industry Minister Christian Paradis introduced a bill aimed at ensuring that Canada complies with the discredited Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The bill raises a host of concerns including granting border guards increased powers without court oversight or review. The bill had not been heard from since its introduction, but yesterday Paradis moved that the bill be read a second time and referred to committee for further study.

    There was insufficient time to complete the necessary debate, so it will come back to the House for further discussion and then proceed to committee. While it is unclear whether there is enough time to pass the bill before the summer - if the government studies it properly there is realistically no chance of doing so - the bill's re-emergence is warning sign that ACTA is still very much on the government's radar screen. Indeed, the fact that Paradis chose to move forward with this bill while his privacy legislation has sat dormant since September 2011 speaks volumes about the current legislative priorities.
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    What's Really Behind Canada's Anti-Counterfeiting Bill?

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    Wednesday March 13, 2013
    With only limited fanfare, earlier this month Industry Minister Christian Paradis introduced Bill C-56, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act. Since no one supports counterfeit products - there are legitimate concerns associated with health and safety - measures designed to address the issue would presumably enjoy public and all-party support. Yet within days of its introduction, the bill was the target of attacks from both opposition parties and the public.

    The NDP raised the issue during Question Period in the House of Commons, accusing the government of trying to implement the widely discredited Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) "through the backdoor." The public also picked up on the issue, noting that the bill appears to be less about protecting Canadians and more about caving to U.S. pressure (the U.S. called on Canada to implement ACTA on the same day the bill was tabled).

    My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the concerns associated with the bill fall into two main categories: substance and ACTA implementation. The substantive concerns start with the decision to grant customs officials broad new powers without court oversight. Under the bill, customs officials are required to assess whether goods entering or exiting the country infringe any copyright or trademark rights.


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