IIPA Wants Canada And Spain On The 'Naughty' Special 301 List Even Though They Brought In Tough New Copyright Laws
from the base-ingratitude dept
Here on Techdirt, one of the things we look forward to each year is the comedy production known as the 301 Report, where the US makes the world line up in a row, and then names and shames all the naughty countries whose intellectual monopoly laws aren’t outrageous enough. In advance of the official naughty list, there are helpful suggestions from the fans of monopoly maximalism, including the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), which has just released its 2013 demands. Mostly it’s the usual suspects — China, India, Russia etc. But there’s an interesting change from the previous year’s list: Canada has moved from the really naughty “Priority Watch List” to the only slightly naughty “Watch List”.
As Michael Geist points out, far from being good news, that’s outrageous:
Those that thought passing Bill C-11 — the Canadian copyright reform bill that contained some of the most restrictive digital lock rules in the world — would satisfy U.S. groups will be disappointed. The IIPA wants Canada back on the piracy watch list, one notch below the Special Watch List (where the US placed Canada last year).
Despite the praise for Bill C-11 last year, the groups are right back in criticism mode and demanding reforms. The IIPA is now unsure if the enabler provision will help stop sites that facilitate infringement (despite the fact that its members have yet to use the provision) and concerned with the prospect of new exceptions to the digital lock rules. In fact, its criticisms of the rules for Internet providers (it wants a notice-and-takedown system, tougher rules on search engines that link to infringing content, and new rules to target repeat infringers) are so strong that the organization implausibly claims possible non-compliance with the WIPO Internet treaties.
Nor is Canada the only country that might be surprised to find itself on the naughty step again. As Mike explained last year, Spain was removed from the official Special 301 list for being an obedient little vassal state and bringing in the punitive Ley Sinde, as instructed, despite huge public and business opposition. And now, guess what? The IIPA already wants Spain back on the list for not doing enough in this area (pdf):
Contrary to the expectations surrounding the implementation of ley Sinde that led to Spain’s removal from the Special 301 Watch List last year, Spain saw no positive developments in 2012.
Let’s hope Canada and Spain — and everyone else — draw the obvious conclusion from the IIPA’s latest calls: that no matter what countries do, no matter what legislation they bring in, and no matter what disproportionately harsh punishments they inflict on their own people, it will never, ever be enough, and there will always be further demands, and further threats to put them back on the naughty lists. The only solution is to stand up to this blackmail once and for all, and to treat the Special 301 list with the contempt it deserves.