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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Brendan (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

    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...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 2:28pm


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 2:53pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Stephen Downes (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 2:55pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Johnny Canada, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Stephen

    You forgot when the courts rule against the U.S. they just ignore the ruling.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 3:33pm


    Canada should reduce the trade it have with the U.S. or grow more with others that are not so bully.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Johnny Canada, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 4:06pm

    We should start with OIL and Electric Power fisrt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    WammerJammer (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 4:10pm

    US Lobbyist:

    I'm ready to treat Lobbyists like dope dealers and I quote from Steppenwolf's The Pusher:
    'Stab 'em if they stand, shoot 'em if they run'
    Oh no I just broke a law. I unlawfully quoted a song I don't own!!!!!!!!!
    Oh no!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Designerfx (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:55pm

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

    I'm amazed a woman like this made lobby but I'm sure she is well funded by the RIAA

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Gimme a break!, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:36pm

    Dumb frickin' yanks.....

    Too stupid to defeat their own powerful monopolies, they now try to bring 'em up here. Go home and stay home ya bunch of dumb twits. We don't want your hypocrisy or your stupid laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Steve, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 7:22pm

    Canada to America. Go fuck yourself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    ogre51, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 10:26pm

    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

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    ., Dec 10th, 2009 @ 4:23am

    Judge Dredd.

    Herman Ferguson: [Dredd trips over Fergie, who is fleeing the block war at Heavenly Haven, and is now judging him] 5 years? But I had to! They were killing each other in there!
    Judge Dredd: You could have gone out the window.
    Herman Ferguson: We're 40 floors up! That would have been suicide!
    Judge Dredd: Maybe, but it's legal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Time to Rebell, Dec 10th, 2009 @ 4:34am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 10th, 2009 @ 6:03am

    Re: Is it the same with Lobbyists as politicians?

    "If you listen very closely, you'll hear them all using one or two identical phrases."

    Its called a mental meme .... two all beef patties .... you know the rest ... People pick up phrases others have used and pass them on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    known coward, Dec 10th, 2009 @ 8:56am

    A lobbiest lobbies

    it is their job, the truth is not more important than the outcome.

    If she says it and it makes the canadians fall for her untrue drivel, it is there loss.

    I say

    HA HA HA canada.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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