US Lobbyist: If Canada Just Implemented US-Style Copyright Law, US Would Drop 'Buy American' Provisions

from the uh...-what? dept

We’ve seen the ridiculous pressure that lobbyists and diplomats have been putting on Canada to put in place significantly more draconian copyright law, without any evidence that it’s needed and even though it’s opposed by the vast majority of Canadian citizens. However, now things are just getting bizarre. A totally separate issue involving Canadian and US trade is that Canada is (reasonably) upset by various “buy American” provisions that are being pushed by various local governments despite the fact that anyone with any economic knowledge at all recognizes that “Buy American” provisions do more harm to American interests. This is an important issue, and there are lots of ways to address it. But it’s flat-out ridiculous to believe that the “answer” to the Buy American issue is for Canadians to capitulate to American interests in implementing much more draconian copyright law. And yet, that’s exactly what an American lobbyist just told a Canadian Parliamentary gathering recently.

Scotty Greenwood, an American lobbyist with a history of serious conflicts of interest in her dual role as a lobbyist and as an executive director of the Canadian-American Business Council, spoke at the gathering and offered what she believed is a simple solution: Canadian politicians “could solve Buy America tomorrow,” if they just agreed to capitulate on copyright, even though the two issues have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Luckily, Canadian copyright expert Howard Knopf was on hand to ask Greenwood how that could possibly make any sense at all. Apparently, the only answer he got was that Canada should implement the copyright law demanded by American lobbyists because it’s “in Canada’s best interest.” Uh huh.

Of course, it’s pure fantasy to claim that by implementing draconian copyright law in Canada that most people want, the “Buy American” issue will go away. In most cases, Buy American is not being pushed by the federal government, but by more local politicians who have a more populist position (i.e., protecting the jobs of local workers). They couldn’t care any less about copyright in Canada. But, it does show just how low the copyright lobby has stooped to push more draconian copyright laws in Canada, when they’re now trying to tie it to a totally different trade issue.

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Comments on “US Lobbyist: If Canada Just Implemented US-Style Copyright Law, US Would Drop 'Buy American' Provisions”

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16 Comments
Brendan (profile) says:

I feel like we're screwed and we just don't know it yet

Between this garbage and ACTA, its going to be a tough fight to keep this crap out of Canada.

This feels like a nasty little trick to get some blue collar support for copyright reform using empty promises to buy Canadian goods if only we’d give them what they want first.

Sure! Whatever you say…

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Is it the same with Lobbyists as politicians?

Because one of the things that strikes me about most politics and political media coverage today, is that no one actually believes what they’re saying.

And if you think I’m crazy, do this the next day you have off. In the morning, flip on the cable news channel of your choice and pick one of the topics they’re covering. Then listen closely to what is said by the pundit on the right and left. Then, throughout the day, periodically flip through the cable news networks and stop everytime you hear them discussing the topic you chose. If you listen very closely, you’ll hear them all using one or two identical phrases. It’s really odd, because that means they’re getting their marching orders and going out and saying these things.

And it’s not even like it’s just media hacks. I’ve seen presidential candidates do it, including our three past presidents! Senators, House reps, etc. etc. etc. There is no such thing as a stance like what they spew that THAT many people agree about the way these guys all seem to.

So, with that in mind, why wouldn’t a lobbyist who doesn’t really believe what she’s saying try to sneak some talking points nonsense into the discussion? What’s the downside? Even when she gets called out by somebody who knows what they’re talking about, she just spews more nonsense an non-answers.

Stephen Downes (profile) says:

Nobody in Canada believes that signing any agreement with the United States will be sufficient to cause them to drop “buy America” provisions.

Canada signed NAFTA fifteen years ago explicitly to avoid U.S. protectionist measures, and the experience has been that (a) the United States doesn’t abide by the provisions of trade agreements when it doesn’t feel like it, and (b) American protectionism continued unabated.

That said, American lobbyists are spending a lot of money attempting to buy legislation here in Canada, and there is significant concern that they will be successful.

ogre51 says:

the thing that gets me is that some so called expert or lobbyist will say something so outrageous and stupid and with a straight face no less and then get ticked off when you point out how utterly foolish the statement was.
while i have no bone to pick with the average US citizen i really wish you would keep your self serving lobbyist’s and your bought and paid for congress critters down there
any person with an iota of brain power can see that they are not serving the people that elect them put are serving the group that is putting the most money in there coffers

Time to Rebell (profile) says:

Time to Go on the offensive

Its time to go on the offensive and starting pushing for our own copyright reform. My opening positions is:

Anything played or displayed in a public place becomes public domain. Anyone attending a venue were something is played or displayed is granted personal copyright for themselves and their descendant for 8000 + 1 years.

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