IP Watch reports that U.S. Congressman Howard Berman has inserted language into a bill that would mandate the creation of ten new attaches that would enhance U.S. efforts to pressure foreign countries on IP enforcement. Based on the language in the bill, Canada would be a likely target.
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Howard Berman, the U.S. Congressman who is sometimes called the "representative from Hollywood", was at it again today, leading hearings at the Foreign Affairs Committee on Global IP Theft that quickly became yet another case of "Blame Canada." As implausible at seems, there is a regular sport in the U.S. of claiming that Canada is the source of evil when it comes to IP laws.
At today's hearing, Berman demanded that Canada implement the WIPO Internet treaties, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees inaccurately claimed that " Canadian movie theaters account for nearly 50 percent of all camcorded sources worldwide" and urged Canada to pass legislation similar to the DMCA (Disney Chair Richard Cook noted that the anti-camcording law has reduced Canadian camcording), and Universal Music Group President Zach Horowitz claimed that Canada has the highest level of online piracy in the world, that we are a haven for unauthorized music sites, and that "there is no recourse against online theft." After this misleading and inaccurate testimony, Horowitz then urged the Congessional panel to ask Canadian officials "to explain their reputation as a nation unfriendly to the policies at the heart of copyright and the realities of the borderless digital marketplace."