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.

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

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Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Terminology FAIL

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

Ima Fish (profile) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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”.

Joel (profile) says:

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!!!!!


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?

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