Canadian Copyright Lobby on G-8 IP Statement

The Canadian copyright lobby, including CAAST, CRIA, CMPDA, and several others, have issued a release congratulating the government on the G-8 statement on intellectual property issues.  The release (which I can't find online) says that the associations support the statement and look "forward to the Canadian government fulfilling these commitments as soon as possible in order to better protect intellectual property in the digital age. The introduction and passage of new federal copyright legislation will be a key step to fulfilling the commitments."

A close look at the statement reveals a major disconnect between it and likely copyright legislation.  The G-8 statement is primarily focused on counterfeiting and commercial piracy with emphasis on border enforcement, stronger IP trade enforcement, organized crime, and anti-counterfeiting measures (along with an unfortunate swipe at the WIPO Development Agenda).  Seen in light of concerns surrounding Russian-based counterfeiting, the statement comes as no surprise (indeed the BPI wanted the UK to place on the agenda).  Those issues bear little relation to the short-term copyright reform issues in Canada such as anti-circumvention legislation, ISP liability, and an expanded fair dealing right.  Those issues are not directly relevant here at all and merited no mention whatsoever in the statement.  So let's be clear – the government need not address the WIPO Internet Treaties issue in order to fulfill its latest so-called commitment from the G-8 summit and the introduction of new legislation has little to do with addressing the G-8's stated concerns.  While the copyright lobby might wish it otherwise, Canada does not have any new obligations or commitments to introduce copyright reform legislation.

One Comment

  1. Michael_S says:

    I find it appalling that the international recording industries felt it necessary to bother the G-8 discussions when there are more important and immediate issues to deal with. Like oh, say, countries posturing with the threat of nuclear weapons and a war going on in the middle east? I mean really, how does personal downloading of music compare with that?