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    The IP Lobby's Post-Bill C-11 Playbook: ACTA, SOPA, Warrantless Search and the Criminalization of IP

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    Friday June 08, 2012
    The Canadian intellectual property's lead lobby group, the Canadian IP Council (itself a group within the Canadian Chamber of Commerce) released a new policy document yesterday that identifies its legislative priorities for the coming years. Anyone hoping that the SOPA protests, the European backlash against ACTA, and the imminent passage of Bill C-11 might moderate the lobby group demands will be sorely disappointed. Counterfeiting in the Canadian Market: How Do We Stop It? is the most extremist IP policy document ever released in Canada, calling for the implementation of ACTA, SOPA-style rules including website blocking and stopping search results from resolving, liability for advertisers and payment companies, massive surveillance at the border and through delivery channels including searching through individual packages without court oversight, and spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars on private enforcement.

    This long post reviews the report, focusing on the case it makes for addressing counterfeiting concerns in Canada and on the resulting recommendations. The recommendations are divided into five main groups:
    1. Introduce a Canadian SOPA
    2. ACTA Implementation
    3. New Search Powers Without Court Oversight
    4. The Criminalization of Intellectual Property
    5. Massive Increase in Public Spending Creating an IP Enforcement Subsidy

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    EP Committees Reject ACTA As Backlash Against Secretive IP Agreements Continues to Grow

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    Thursday May 31, 2012
    Earlier today, three European Parliament committees studying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement - the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI), the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the Committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) - all voted against implementing ACTA. The rejection from all three committees confirms the lack of support with the Parliament for ACTA. A final European Parliament vote is expected in July with additional committee recommendations coming next month.

    The strength of the anti-ACTA movement within the European Parliament is part of a broader backlash against secretive intellectual property agreements that are either incorporated into broad trade agreements or raise critical questions about prioritizing IP enforcement over fundamental rights. This week the Dutch Parliament voted against ratifying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a move that some experts say could effectively kill ACTA (which is a "mixed agreement") throughout Europe. In addition to the two anti-ACTA resolutions, the Dutch Parliament passed a third resolution against similar treaties:

    The House of Representatives,

    - observes that treaties like ACTA lead to a further formalization of copyrights rules on the international level,
    - observes that such treaties are very difficult to modify and as a result can be an extra impediment for future reforms of copyright law,
    - observes that strict enforcement of intellectual property on the internet is no solution for the ongoing difficulties regarding copyright law and interferes with internet freedom,
    - requests the government to vote against new similar treaties,
    - requests the government to focus the copyright policy on economic growth opportunities offered by the internet through, amongst others things, new revenue models for legal content.

    The opposition to ACTA and ACTA-style treaties (which obviously include the Trans Pacific Partnership and bi-lateral agreements such as CETA) is part of a growing international trend as elected officials and independent policy officials around the world voice their objection to these treaties.

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    Dutch Parliament Votes Against ACTA Ratification

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    Wednesday May 30, 2012
    The Dutch Parliament has voted against ratifying the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, reaching its decision without waiting for the outcome of the upcoming European Parliament vote.
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    European ACTA Negotiation Documents Leak

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    Tuesday May 29, 2012
    EDRi has posted four unredacted ACTA documents that provide insight into four of the ACTA negotiation rounds - Paris, Rabat, Seoul, and Guadalajara. The documents highlight the disagreement over ACTA transparency and concerns with the U.S. position on the Internet chapter.
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