Post Tagged with: "acta"

How Canadians Reclaimed the Public Interest on Digital Policy

The fall of 2007 was a particularly bleak period for Canadians concerned with digital policies. The government had just issued a policy direction to the CRTC to adopt a hands-off regulatory approach even as consumer prices for Internet and wireless services were increasing. Meanwhile, the Department of Public Safety held a semi-secret consultation on Internet surveillance where mandatory disclosure of subscriber information was assumed.

Moreover, the CRTC had largely rejected mounting concerns with the way Internet providers managed their networks (often called network neutrality), there were doubts about new wireless competitors entering the marketplace, Industry Canada had seemingly no interest in developing anti-spam laws or updating privacy legislation, the government agreed to participate in negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and a copyright bill with virtually no user-oriented provision was being prepared for introduction.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that fast forward five years later and the CRTC has now positioned itself as a staunch defender of the public interest with consumer concerns at the centre of its policy making process, a lawful access bill was introduced in the spring but is viewed as politically dead, the CRTC has crafted and enforced new net neutrality rules, anti-spam legislation has been enacted, there are several new wireless providers and the removal of most foreign investment restrictions, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is discredited after being rejected by the European Parliament, and copyright reform is set to take effect this week with a host of user safeguards and rights.

Read more ›

November 6, 2012 2 comments Columns

EU Drops Demands for Inclusion of ACTA’s Criminal IP Provisions in CETA

Reports this morning from EDRI, a European digital rights group, indicate that Europe has now dropped demands to include ACTA-style intellectual property criminal provisions within the Canada – EU Trade Agreement. The inclusion of IP criminal provisions in CETA was the source of considerable outrage in Europe in the aftermath […]

Read more ›

November 1, 2012 3 comments News

De Gucht Says “No Illusions” About Difficult CETA Issues

EU Commissioner Karel de Gucht says that there should be “no illusions” about the remaining difficult issues in the Canada – EU Trade Agreement, suggesting that completion by the end of the year remains uncertain. De Gucht indicated that CETA once included ACTA language, but says that has now been […]

Read more ›

October 31, 2012 1 comment News

CETA Negotiations Continue Under Cloud of ACTA Concerns

The Canada – EU Trade Agreement negotiations continue this week in Brussels with both parties hoping to wrap up many outstanding issues. According to information provided by Canadian officials at a briefing earlier this month, the plan is to narrow the areas of disagreement to no more than ten issues, with ministers meeting in Europe in November to try to forge an agreement on the contentious areas. While patent issues will clearly be part of the November discussion, Canadian officials advised that the copyright chapter was largely concluded. In fact, when I asked directly whether the text would require changes to current Canadian copyright law, the response was that it would not. 

Notwithstanding those reassurances, Canadian officials acknowledged the border measures issues were still unresolved. Moreover, days later a European briefing offered a somewhat different take on the copyright provisions. La Quadrature du Net, a leading European NGO, reports that the European Commission confirmed that the controversial criminal ACTA provisions were still included in the CETA draft.

The reports have sparked a wave of new concern (see here, here, here, here, and here) with suggestions that ACTA is “back from the dead in Europe.”

Read more ›

October 17, 2012 14 comments News

ACTA: The Ethical Analysis of a Failure and Its Lessons

Luciano Floridi, the UNESCO Chair in Information and Computer Ethics at the University of Hertfordshire, has written a helpful analysis of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and its failure.

Read more ›

October 10, 2012 2 comments News