Canadian Delusions: ACTA Supporters Pretend It's Just About Counterfeit Goods
from the if-only dept
One of the nastier tricks of copyright maximalists has been to lump together “counterfeiting” with “copyright infringement” in an effort to conveniently jump back and forth when making silly arguments. Basically, they can argue that copyright infringement is a huge issue, because of the massive amount of unauthorized sharing that happens online. But they have a lot of trouble showing real harm. On the other side, counterfeiting really isn’t that big of a problem when you look closely at the details, but there are a few, extremely limited cases (faulty counterfeit airplane parts, some fake drugs) where there could be real harm. So if you lump them all together you can claim “massive problems” with “real harm.” But that doesn’t work if you look at them individually.
We recently wrote about some Canadian politicians introducing a bill to get Canada in compliance with ACTA, despite the fact that ACTA has been totally discredited around the globe. Some political opponents are now pushing back on that, calling the bill in question an attempt to get ACTA in “through the backdoor.” However, in response Canadian Industry Minister, Christian Paradis, just keeps repeating the “counterfeiting” mantra and ignoring the entire ACTA elephant in the room. Amusingly, Paradis seems unable to even admit that there are concerns here:
During Question Period on Monday, Borg asked Industry Minister Christian Paradis directly if the bill paves the way for ratification of the discredited treaty:
Mr. Speaker, last July the European Parliament rejected the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement over serious concerns about the regressive changes it would impose on intellectual property in the digital age. Yet on Friday, the Conservatives introduced a bill in the House that would pave the way for the ACTA without question. Canadians have concerns about goods being seized or destroyed without any oversight by the courts. Will the minister now be clear with Canadians? Are the Conservatives planning to ratify ACTA, yes or no?
Paradis refused to respond to the ACTA ratification question:
Mr. Speaker, we are very happy to have introduced an anti-counterfeiting bill in the House. Counterfeiting is a growing problem in Canada. Counterfeiting deceives Canadians and is linked to security-related issues. So it was our duty to modernize the legislation to ensure that we can end counterfeiting, so that Canadians are not deceived, and to provide better security.
Borg tried again with a direct link between Bill C-56 and ACTA:
Mr. Speaker, a number of countries have rejected this unacceptable agreement. The anti-counterfeiting trade agreement – ACTA – was drafted behind closed doors and would incriminate the daily users of cultural content. This agreement will turn our border officers into instant copyright experts, without the adequate legal support. Canada must seriously study the problem of counterfeiting. However, the failure of Bill C-30 means that Canadians do not have faith in this Conservative government. Is Bill C-56 not simply a way to support ACTA through the back door?
Paradis ducks the question once again:
Mr. Speaker, let us be clear: Bill C-56 is a way to support and protect Canadian families.
Counterfeiting is a growing problem that must be stopped. Counterfeiting deceives Canadians and poses risks to the safety of Canadians. We must ensure that the legislation is updated and appropriate in order to equip the authorities with effective tools to fight counterfeiting, which is exactly what was introduced on Friday. If the NDP is responsible, I hope they will support us.
See the talking point? When asked about ACTA just lie and repeat “counterfeiting is a serious problem” over and over and over again, despite little proof to actually support that. And, when really challenged, pull out the “it’s for the children” card by saying that it’s needed to protect families. Yes, the families of the US-based executives of the legacy entertainment industry.