EU Keeps Pushing Canada To Make Massive Changes To IP Law, With No Concern For User Rights

from the if-not-acta,-then-ceta dept

While everyone's been focusing on ACTA, there are other (falsely named) "trade agreements" that are being discussed as well. Last year, we mentioned one that has mostly flown under the radar, involving the EU pressuring Canada to change its copyright laws, for the "Canada - EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement" (CETA). Canada has come under some criticism for having copyright laws that the entertainment industry doesn't feel are "strong enough," and it looks like CETA is yet another attempt to change that.

Michael Geist reports on a recent leak of parts of CETA, and it's pretty extreme. As Geist notes:
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.
Jamie Love also has a nice analysis of the leaked documents, where he notes some of the rather telling language choices -- especially compared to the existing TRIPS agreement that concerns intellectual property. For example, in TRIPS, there's talk of balance and user rights, such as this statement in the objectives:
Objectives
The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare, and to a balance of rights and obligations.
As for CETA? The objectives are noticeably one-sided:
Objectives
The objectives of this chapter are to:
(a) facilitate the production and commercialization of innovative and creative products between the Parties; and
(b) achieve an adequate and effective level of protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
Yes, this is what is happening to intellectual property law these days. Now that the industry folks have basically taken over the process, they're pretty much throwing any semblance of the supposed "bargain" between creators and society out the window, and doing their best to turn intellectual property law into a purely one-sided deal, for the benefit of producers only.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 2:15am

    Terminology FAIL

    "Yes, this is what is happening to intellectual property law these days."

    Why are you using the term "intellectual property law"?

    That's just marketing by monopolists to make people equate a regulatory privilege with physical ownership. By using it you're only perpetuating the misguided notion that copying is the same as theft.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 3:00am

    Re: Terminology FAIL

    Why are you using the term "intellectual property law"?


    Because people understand it and the alternatives have serious problems:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080306/003240458.shtml

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Dementia (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 3:54am

    Certainly it's alarming, but this is surprising why??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 4:18am

    I've said it before, copyrights and patents are government granted monopolies. When governments are forced to expand these monopolies based upon unelected foreign pressures, the entire purpose of granting the monopolies becomes perverted. It's no longer about giving an incentive to create, it's about protecting the cashcows of international corporations.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 4:25am

    Re: Re: Terminology FAIL

    I like "government granted monopolies" myself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Seshan (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 4:30am

    When I read articles like this it makes me frustrated at what these greedy bastards are trying to do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 4:42am

    Re: Re: Terminology FAIL

    Mike
    I tend to agree with the AC here - although I can see where you are coming from. It is really inconvenient to keep calling something a different name just to make a point (although of course the "other side" have been doing this for years).

    My preferred term is "intellectual monopoly concessions". The concessions bit is important because it underlines the point that these things are exceptional and makes it natural that the "concession" should run out. "Rights" and "property" don't run out with time - so the use of these words makes copyright term extension seem more natural than it should.

    The word "concession" is used with exactly the right meaning elsewhere. (a limited term monopoly, granted by the government with reversion to the government or the public at the end) One good example is the channel tunnel

    http://www.eurotunnel.com/ukcP3Main/ukcCorporate/ukcTunnelInfrastructure/ukcDevelopment/uk pHistory#eurotunnel

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 5:38am

    Language matters. As has been observed multiple times over the years in Techdirt, using the word "Property" reinforces the fallacy that drives the wrong-headed thinking about the incentives of those who create. I still like the term Steve R. used 2 years ago -- "Intellectual Monopoly". It is much more accurate, and it also does not lend itself to the deceptive conflation of "infringement" with "theft".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 6:16am

    CETA

    I really don't know who is greedier, the entertainment industry or Wall Street...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Richard (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 6:21am

    Re: CETA

    Wall street is greedier they want the biggest bucks possible - and they are prepared to slog for them, the entertainment industry is lazier they still want big bucks - but they want to avoid actual work...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    mike allen (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 7:54am

    I still fail to see

    How all this s***t is going to help artists write better sonngs music or movie scripts or tv shows.
    copyright is anti inovation. I hope Canada tell the EU where to stick their agreement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    From canada with love

    FUCK OFF

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Joel (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 9:43am

    I want to see who this is helping..

    Can the starving artists who would have made some money please stand up or raise their hands??

    Incredible, can someone please explain to these people that they need to stop being greedy!! They are losing much more than they are gaining stop investing money in something so futile; even if CETA is adopted someone will find a way around it!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    ya its called hte handbomb

    i goto buddies offline and we trade
    see hollywood now you have no DPI ability

    haha and with lil wireless popups for short periods even if they make it illegal it will just have them running around far worse then after the drug dealers who btw they aren't catching very well either

    Ya prohibition never worked and unless you free knowledge and culture people will just go do an end run around you.

    BY there own stats there's like 6-8 million pirates in Canada
    YOUR telling 6-8 million people to get bent?

    NOT GONNA happen in the political climate the first party that shows us they are truly for us will get a MASSIVE NUMBER OF SEATS

    hear that you twit politicians in canada?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 10:26am

    What, exactly, does Canada get in return for this? It better be spectacular to compensate them for what they'd be giving up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 12:33pm

    they get nothing and love it

    sck on eggs the EU says do it or else we will NOT buy your OIL , trees and other resources we desperately need

    says the 5$ a litre UK man, while canada pays 90 cents

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Seshan (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 11:02pm

    Re: they get nothing and love it

    Sad thing is that we still pay more then the US and it's our oil!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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