Each April, the U.S. Trade Representative releases the Special 301 report which represents its take on the countries with inadequate intellectual property laws. Inclusion on the report is often framed as an embarrassment as the U.S. seeks to paint those countries as out-of-step with international norms (Canadian officials have rightly dismissed the report as a lobbying document without substantive merit). The latest leaks of country positions on the Trans Pacific Partnership highlight that the opposite is true. It is increasingly the U.S. that is out-of-step with international norms as it seeks to export laws that are widely rejected by most other countries. From its demands for the criminalization of copyright (even in cases of inadvertent infringement) to the prospect of termination of Internet access over allegations of violations, the U.S. approach finds little support among most of its allies. While Canada opposes the U.S. on virtually all remaining IP issues in the TPP, the U.S. is often isolated on each issue, sometimes entirely alone or occasionally supported by one or two other countries.
Post Tagged with: "Intellectual Property"
Appeared in the Toronto Star on November 16, 2013 as Leaked Document Provides Much-Needed Sunlight on Trade Talks The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, a massive proposed trade deal that includes Canada, the United States, Australia, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Vietnam, Japan, Peru, and Chile, has long been the target […]
Intellectual property was one of the most contentious aspects of the CETA negotiations, with copyright, patents, and geographic indications all sources of concern. A summary of the impact of CETA on each is posted below (additional posts on the need to release the text and the telecom and e-commerce provisions).
Early CETA drafts included extensive copyright provisions that would have rendered Canadian copyright law virtually unrecognizable from its current state. The EU position on copyright changed after two developments in 2012. First, Canada passed long-awaited copyright reform that addressed several concerns, most notably legal protection for digital locks and ISP liability. Second, the EU abandoned many of the remaining demands after the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in July 2012 to reject Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, striking a major blow to the hopes of supporters who envisioned a landmark agreement that would set a new standard for intellectual property rights enforcement. â€¨
The resulting copyright provisions appear benign, as the government is claiming that CETA is consistent with current Canadian law:
The House of Commons may have adjourned for the summer, but just hours before breaking, the government filed its response to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology’s report on the Intellectual Property Regime in Canada. That may sound dry, but the document provides a clear indication of what the government has planned for the coming years on IP reform.
So what’s in store? Leaving aside an assortment of promised studies, the government response includes five notable plans (or non-plans).