Appeared in the Toronto Star on February 9, 2009 as Scaling Wall Over Canada's Trade Complaint Against China Late last month, the World Trade Organization released a much-anticipated decision involving a U.S.-led complaint against China over its intellectual property laws. Canada was among a number of countries that participated in […]
Archive for February, 2009
Reliable sources report that the Canadian Labour Congress is set to consider a policy resolution that would dramatically alter its approach on copyright and intellectual property policy. The resolution will apparently be brought forward to the Congress Executive Council next Monday with the possibility of consideration by the full CLC Council immediately thereafter. It should be noted that the CLC has traditionally recognized the need for a balanced approach and that support for ratification of the WIPO Internet treaties comes primarily from U.S. pressure.
For example, consider the CLC's comments on IP policy within the context of the Security Prosperity Partnership with the United States and Mexico. Following the Montebello meeting in 2007, the CLC said the following:
Negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement resume next month in Morocco, but as the discussions drag on, details on the proposed treaty are beginning to emerge. Obtaining information through official channels such as Freedom of Information requests has been very difficult; however, there is little doubt that lobby groups have been privy to inside information and so reliable sources have begun to sketch a fairly detailed outline of the proposed treaty.
There is some good news from the details that have started to emerge. First, the treaty is far from complete as there are six main chapters and some key elements have yet to be discussed. Moreover, it is clear that there is significant disagreement on many aspects of the treaty with the U.S. and Japan jointly proposing language and many countries responding with potential changes or even recommendations that the language be dropped altogether.
If that is the good news, the bad news is that most other fears about the scope of ACTA are real. The proposed treaty appears to have six main chapters: (1) Initial Provisions and Definitions; (2) Enforcement of IPR; (3) International Cooperation; (4) Enforcement Practices; (5) Institutional Arrangements; and (6) Final Provisions. Most of the discussion to date has centred on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights chapter. As for the other chapters, the U.S. has supplied some proposed definitions and Canada supplied a "non-paper" on the institutional arrangements once a treaty is concluded that calls for the creation of an "ACTA Oversight Council" that would meet each year to discuss implementations, best practices, and assist other governments who are considering joining ACTA.
The work on Enforcement of IPR is broken down into four sections – civil enforcement, border measures, criminal enforcement, and Rights Management Technology/the Internet.
The Goverment of Canada has launched a Request For Information on open source software. The RFI, which closes on February 19, 2009, is designed to provide it with assistance in developing guidelines for "the acquisition, use, and disposal" of open source software.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has now released its IP recommendations report – A Time For Change: Toward A New Era for Intellectual Property Rights in Canada. The report is largely a rehash of the CACN's Roadmap for Change report of 2007 with many of the same anecdotes, discredited statistics, […]