EU Finally Realizes The Public Is Watching CETA: Softens Criminal Provisions For Copyright Infringement

from the somewhat-encouraging dept

Last month, through all of the secrecy shrouding the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA), it was revealed that the treaty called for the same criminal copyright sanctions that European citizens widely rejected when those same sanctions showed up in ACTA. This was just as people feared, and those who noticed were furious that the EU would try to quietly undo the public's ACTA victory so quickly and brazenly. Of course, the reaction to CETA is so far nowhere near the critical mass that led to the ACTA protests — but it looks like the negotiators are afraid of recent history repeating, and may just have gotten the message that they can't do whatever they want behind the public's back. TechCentral reports (found via The 1709 Blog) that more recent CETA documents reveal a weakening of the ACTA-like criminal provisions. There has even been some stance-softening from pro-ACTA powerhouse Karel De Gucht:

...according to documents from the Cyprus Presidency of the EU seen by IDG News Service, the CETA text has been greatly watered down in order to avoid a similar outcome [to ACTA]. The intellectual property protection chapter is now understood to say that countries "may" provide for criminal procedures and penalties.

Even European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht, who pushed hard for the ACTA agreement, admits that changes must be made. "Since the negative vote of the European Parliament on ACTA, we have been changing the language obviously," he said in an interview with Vieuws.eu. "We should have no illusions, there are still a number of difficult issues to tackle."

Interestingly, though, there is still a strong push for CETA to include criminal sanctions for video recording in movie theaters... championed by Canadian negotiators. We've had a specific criminal law against recording a movie without permission of the theater owner in Canada since 2007 — a law that, like many of Canada's anti-piracy efforts, was primarily the result of U.S lobbying. This is typical of U.S. tactics when it comes to intellectual property law: push your closest friends and neighbors to adopt the strictest laws possible, then put pressure on international negotiations to export those laws around the globe and enshrine them as the norm. Thankfully, these latest leaked negotiation documents suggest that the EU is against Canada's proposal.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Michael, 7 Nov 2012 @ 10:05am

    Canadian Law

    Perhaps someone can answer this.

    "We've had a specific criminal law against recording a movie without permission of the theater owner in Canada since 2007"

    What does the theater owner have to do with anything in that situation? The copyright owner is (not likely to be) the theater owner. How can the owner of a theater give someone permission to record a film with a camera? If they can, who is responsible of the owner of the copyright on the film does not approve?

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer
Anonymous number for texting and calling from Hushed. $25 lifetime membership, use code TECHDIRT25
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.