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:
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:
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.