Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is on a campus tour this week and sources report that he is being asked about Canadian copyright policy at every stop. He responds that Canadian copyright policy must not be dictated by Washington. He says that Canada needs its own policies and is encouraging students […]
Archive for January 15th, 2010
Last month, U.S. trade lobbyist Scotty Greenwood urged Canadians to enact U.S.-style copyright reforms, arguing that progress on that issue would result in movement on the "Buy American" provisions that have cropped up in the United States. I pointed to a post from Blayne Haggart explaining why the link was […]
Reports from Costa Rica indicate that final approval of the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States is languishing in the Legislative Assembly due to concerns over the copyright provisions. The CAFTA copyright provisions are similar to those found in the other major U.S. trade agreements concluded in recent years: DMCA-style protections, ISP liability, and copyright term extension are all part of the package.
In this case, it is the responses that are most noteworthy. Within Costa Rica, the article reports that the copyright provisions in the trade treaty have set off a wave of student protests over what it means for education. Meanwhile, health officials are concerned that the provisions on pharmaceutical products "would bankrupt the public health system." The response from the U.S. is important as well. It is delaying market access to sugar from the developing country until the copyright reforms are in place. Until that time, Costa Rican sugar producers will not be able to sell their product in the U.S.
Interestingly, Costa Rica is not the only country in the region grappling with U.S. pressure on copyright.
EU commissioner-designate for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, appeared yesterday in hearings on her priorities in the coming years. ACTA was discussed during the hearings, with Kroes indicating that the EU plans to stand firm in the negotiations and that the U.S. (and presumably Canada) will have to agree to […]
A new editorial from Nature criticizes Canadian science policy: Some critics say Canada has no science policy at all. Others say it has unwritten laws that seem to let it muddle along. But muddling along isn't good enough in today's tough economic climate. Canada needs a bigger vision of where […]