Monday June 13, 2011
As Canada and the European Union continue their negotiations on a trade
deal, a source has provided a copy of the EU proposal for the criminal
intellectual property provisions. The IP criminal provisions was the
one aspect left out of early drafts (the CETA leak from last year is available here). The
initial EU proposal uses the Anti-Counterfeiting
criminal provisions as the model. This includes ACTA Article 23 on
Criminal Offences (criminal provisions for wilful trademark
counterfeiting or copyright piracy on a commercial scale), ACTA Article
24 on Penalties (including imprisonment), ACTA Article 25 on Seizure,
Forfeiture, and Destruction, and ACTA Article 26 on Ex Officio Criminal
Enforcement. Several of these provisions would require domestic
legislative change in Canada that were not found in Bill C-32
(suggesting that an IP enforcement bill will be introduced sometime in
the near future).
Much like in ACTA negotiations, the EU is rejecting the request for
inclusion of an anti-camcording provision in CETA. Canada enacted
anti-camcording measures under pressure from the U.S. several years
ago. The U.S. sought similar provisions in ACTA, but the EU ensured
that the provision was optional, not mandatory.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the EU criminal IP proposal is
the internal divide over whether it should extend beyond ACTA to create
ACTA+. According to documents I've seen, Italy has called for the
broadest possible scope for CETA, including geographical indications
(yes, criminal provisions for geographical indications). Despite the
fact that this extends well beyond ACTA, the Italian position is
supported by Portugal, Greece, France, Romania, and the Czech Republic.
In fact, the Czech Republic would also like to extend the criminal
provisions to designs. The UK, Austria, and Finland oppose extending
the provision beyond ACTA. The decision was ultimately made to start
by proposing the ACTA language and consider progress on the remaining
issues in CETA before escalating European demands.
TagsShareMonday June 13, 2011
Friday June 03, 2011
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection
of the right to freedom of opinion and expression has released an important
that examines freedom of expression on the Internet. The report
very critical of rules such as graduated response/three strikes,
arguing that such laws may violate the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(Canada became a member in 1976). Moreover, the report expresses
concerns with notice-and-takedown systems, noting that it is subject to
abuse by both governments and private actors.
On the issue of graduated response, the report states:
he is alarmed by proposals to
disconnect users from Internet access if they violate intellectual
property rights. This also includes legislation based on the concept of
“graduated response”, which imposes a series of penalties on copyright
infringers that could lead to suspension of Internet service, such as
the so-called “three strikes-law” in France and the Digital Economy Act
2010 of the United Kingdom.
Beyond the national level, the
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been proposed as a
multilateral agreement to establish international standards on
intellectual property rights enforcement. While the provisions to
disconnect individuals from Internet access for violating the treaty
have been removed from the final text of December 2010, the Special
Rapporteur remains watchful about the treaty’s eventual implications
for intermediary liability and the right to freedom of expression.
In light of these concerns, the report argues that the Internet
disconnection is a disproportionate response, violates international
law and such measures should be repealed in countries that have adopted
TagsShareFriday June 03, 2011
Monday May 30, 2011
A new final version of the
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement - formally adopted on April 15,
2011 and opened for signature on May 1, 2011 - has been posted online.
ACTA will remain open for signature until May 2013.
TagsShareMonday May 30, 2011
Thursday May 05, 2011
Copyright lobby groups are pressing
the European Parliament to quickly pass ACTA. The letter
is believed to be a response to a request for an Opinion on the
compatibility of ACTA with the EU Treaties.
TagsShareThursday May 05, 2011
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