Archive for March 29th, 2010

EU Demands Canada Completely Overhaul Its Intellectual Property Laws

Late last year, a draft of the European Union proposal for the intellectual property chapter of the Canada – EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement leaked online.  The leak revealed that the EU was seeking some significant changes to Canadian IP laws.  Negotiations have continued and I have now received an updated copy of the draft chapter, complete with proposals from both the EU and Canada.  The breadth of the demands are stunning – the EU is demanding nothing less than a complete overhaul of Canadian IP laws including copyright, trademark, databases, patent, geographic indications, and even plant variety rights.

While there are some Canadian requests – for example, Canada plays Hollywood North by asking the EU to introduce an anti-camcording provision – virtually all the changes would require Canadian reforms.  In fact, while the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement garners the bulk of the attention, CETA would actually involve far more domestic change.  In some sections, the EU simply takes its own directives and incorporates them into the treaty.  For example, provisions on the liability of ISPs is taken directly from EU law, including the use of terms such as "information society service" – something that is defined under EU law but is meaningless in Canada. 

Notably, the draft includes many new rights for broadcasters.  These rights form part of a proposed Broadcast Treaty at WIPO that has failed to achieve consensus.  The EU is seeking to build support for the treaty by requiring Canada to implement many new provisions that would give broadcasters a host of new rights and force public places to pay additional fees for carry broadcasts.

Given the magnitude of the proposed changes, the price of a trade agreement is clear.  The EU is effectively demanding that Canada surrender its sovereignty over intellectual property law and policy. Some of the proposed changes in the Intellectual Property chapter (Chapter 20) of CETA include:

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March 29, 2010 69 comments News

House of Commons Debate on iPod Levy

There was a lengthy debate on the iPod levy in the House of Commons on Friday, including discussion on my appearance before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage the day before.

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March 29, 2010 5 comments News

Simon Fraser University Adopts Open Access Strategy

Simon Fraser University has become the latest Canadian university to adopt policies designed to support open access.

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March 29, 2010 Comments are Disabled News



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March 29, 2010 Comments are Disabled General

Broadcasting Policy Without A Net

Appeared in the Toronto Star on March 29, 2010 as Broadcast Policy Gives the Web a Wide Berth After months of intense lobbying and marketing that pitted broadcasters ("Local TV Matters") against cable and satellite companies ("Stop the TV Tax"), the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission weighed in last week […]

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March 29, 2010 1 comment Columns Archive