The USTR this morning released the 2007 Special 301 Report, its annual report card that features the U.S. perspective on intellectual property protection in dozens of countries around the world. Despite some thought that the U.S. might elevate Canada from its Watch List to the Priority Watch List, no such change occurred. China and Russia garner the lion share of attention, with Thailand the only country "elevated" to the Priority Watch List.
Canada remains where it has been for years – one of many countries that the U.S. would like to see do more on IP protection. The focal point of the Canadian comments is unsurprisingly WIPO Internet treaty ratification, camcording, and counterfeiting. I have obviously already said a lot about each of these issues in print (WIPO, camcording, counterfeiting) and before Parliamentary committees (I appear before the Industry Committee on these issues this week) so need not repeat it here. However, since the U.S. report concludes its comments on Canada by stating:
The United States will continue to monitor Canada's progress in providing an adequate and effective IPR protection regime that is consistent with its international obligation and its advanced level of economic development, including improved border enforcement, near term ratification and implementation of the WIPO Internet Treaties, and efforts to stop unauthorized camcording of films in movie theaters."
it is worth emphasizing again that Canada already meets its international obligations on copyright on each of the issues identified by the USTR.