Without Anyone Paying Attention, Canada Is About To Change Its Laws To Support ACTA

from the sneaky,-sneaky dept

Thought ACTA was dead? While the EU Parliament may have strongly rejected it, and even with the EU Commission (who negotiated it) admitting that ACTA is dead, a variety of other countries still did sign on to the agreement. And, now, it appears that with basically no one paying any attention at all, Canada may be about to pass some laws to effectively tie itself to ACTA's ridiculous requirements. The bill was originally introduced back in March, but was never considered by the Canadian Parliament. However, in late October, it was reintroduced under a new code, C-8, and it looks like it's moving forward, despite almost no public discussion of it anywhere.

The whole point of ACTA, and this bill, are to unite two very different issues: counterfeiting and copyright infringement. The legacy copyright players have been trying to conflate these things for years. That's because they can point to the tiny, but very real, problem of counterfeit drugs or safety equipment that can cause serious damage... and then mix it with the very "large" issue of copyright infringement (where they can't show any actual damage or harm) and pretend that it's a big problem which puts tons of people at risk. Of course, none of that is true. Counterfeiting may be an issue, but it's a very small issue, and in the vast, vast majority of cases, with little to no threat of harm. But, the copyright legacy players have figured out that tying their bandwagon to the claim that "counterfeit drugs kill people" may help them to pass draconian copyright laws.

Bizarrely, the Canadian government appears to have bought this bogus argument, despite nearly all of the evidence suggesting it's wrong. Michael Geist made exactly this point to the Canadian Parliament, but nearly everyone else they heard from were industry folks insisting that they needed this new "anti-counterfeiting" bill. And the end result is it appears that the Canadian Parliament is about to move forward on the bill without hearing from anyone other than Geist who might represent the interests of the public at large. As Howard Knopf notes:
What this exercise it will do – and has done – is to allow lobbyists with a maximalist agenda to use this fake problem of fakes to create the potential for interference with legitimate trade in parallel imports, vastly increased criminalization of everyday “infringement”, shifting of enforcement costs from the private sector to the taxpayer, and the interference with the transshipment of generic drugs and other legitimate products. The new law will allow incredible opportunity for abusive or even simply incompetent enforcement. This can be very costly to large and SME business, not to mention consumers. This is perhaps the most sweeping legislation in Canadian IP law in 70 years, and it is being done without adequate hearings, study or the demonstration of any need. Anyone looking for counterfeit products can find them on the street in mid-town and downtown Manhattan. One doesn’t find this kind of flagrant counterfeiting in Canada. The “evidence” of a major problem with counterfeit good that can’t already be dealt with via existing laws almost entirely anecdotal or absent. Piling on of responsibility to border officials is an unnecessary and costly mistake. The DNA and fingerprints of the movie and record industries are all over this bill.
Tragically, there appears to be almost no media coverage of this at all. Basically, it looks like Canadian politicians waited until everyone was looking elsewhere, and then tried to sneak ACTA right through the Parliament. This would be a major win for the movie and recording industries in the US, but a massive loss for Canadians and Canadian innovation.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 12:52pm

    Thought ACTA was dead? While the EU Parliament may have strongly rejected it, and even with the EU Commission (who negotiated it) admitting that ACTA is dead, a variety of other countries still did sign on to the agreement.

    Funny to see you admit this after the many declarations that ACTA was "killed off". The Europeans declined to join. They didn't kill anything. ACTA exists now and will be expanded in the future.

    Welcome back to reality!!!

     

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      Rapnel (profile), Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 1:01pm

      Re:

      Welcome back to reality!!!

      .. Infringement kills?

       

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    •  
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      silverscarcat (profile), Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 1:22pm

      Re:

      Well, I hope that you enjoy the fact that the internet will get more and more restricted for all because of a small minority of the population want it that way.

       

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 3:09pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, I hope that you enjoy the fact that the internet will get more and more restricted for all because a small minority of the population wont stop abusing their freedom.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 4:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          To what effect? Oh, that's right - the MPAA is richer than ever before. What problem is piracy posing again? You can't pay for another prostitute or the seventh yacht? Get out.

           

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          silverscarcat (profile), Dec 3rd, 2013 @ 1:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sorry to say, a small minority isn't abusing their freedom, a small minority is locking down the internet to try and keep money flowing in without having to change the way they act.

          Isn't that AGAINST the idea of free market capitalism?

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2013 @ 3:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wait, wait, wait. I've heard a lot of really idiotic things reading through any post about ACTA, but this... Really? Abusing their freedoms? How does on abuse their rights? I'd really like to know, because either it is a right, or it is not. You abuse privileges, but a right or a freedom is something you can do without restraint. That's pretty much a part of the definition of /right/.

           

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    The Real Michael, Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    The lack of mainstream media coverage should come as no surprise to anyone who remembers the blatant SOPA/ACTA non-coverage Stateside. It shows you their true motivations, how they works to benefit government and their corporate sponsors/masters. Sleaze through and through.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 6:21pm

      Tax dodging media too

      Well a strong copyright regime, lets them package up artificial copyrights to things, 'sell' those off cheap to an offshore company, and pay high 'fees' to that offshore entity for the use of the copyright. Reducing the tax to nothing.

      If it works for companies like Ikea, Apple, Starbucks etc. and a million other companies, it can work for media companies too. I've often wondered about Murdochs news empire, because he lobbied for a pact with Panama:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/19/rupert-murdoch-corporate-tax-panama-trade-deal_n_101 8600.html


      Really, politicians think they're saving their economy but they're destroying it. There's no reason to keep the copyright in their high tax country, and the stronger the copyright the more they can reduce taxable profit. So you end up with 'American' and 'Canadian' companies that manufacture in China, with design copyrights in Caymans and nothing but a sales office in the US or Canada. With profits notionally held by the companies offshore subsidiary.

       

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    Brent Ashley (profile), Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 1:26pm

    Paying no attention

    As a Canadian I cannot comment on a bill that I have never seen or does not exist. Although we might just pass it in a drunken stupor.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 2:01pm

    Terrorism!

    "The whole point of ACTA, and this bill, are to unite two very different issues: counterfeiting and copyright infringement. The legacy copyright players have been trying to conflate these things for years."

    The real problem with copyright infringement is terrorism!
    As proof, I repeatedly yell the following:
    Terrorism! Terrorism! Terrorism! ....

    (see how easy that was?)

     

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    Draph91 (profile), Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 2:51pm

    I have to admit, I'm quite impressed

    well played canada, well played

     

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    Stephen Harper pedophile, Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Stephen Harper pedophile

    this is what happens when you had Stephen Harper pedophile as your Prime Minister. I read the sealed records from when he was arrested. Don't leave your young boys alone with him.

     

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      Pragmatic, Dec 3rd, 2013 @ 6:00am

      Re: Stephen Harper pedophile

      That's a serious accusation. Citation? I can't find anything about it on the internet.

      We've got real things to hound him about. There's no reason to invent stuff to smear him with.

       

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        BernardoVerda (profile), Dec 3rd, 2013 @ 7:30pm

        Re: Re: Stephen Harper pedophile

        Stephen Harper is an Ideologue?
        Matter of public record.

        Stephen Harper is a covert religious fundamentalist wacko?
        Well, yes -- but in the press and in public debate it's generally swept under the carpet, at least in the anglophone parts of the country. It may be true, but bringing it up will probably hurt the one who brings it up more than it will hurt Harper.

        Stephen Harper is a Pedophile?
        Wait, what? First I've heard it even hinted at. And pedophilia is the one crime that is inexcusable and reviled across the entire political spectrum -- if there was anything to it, someone would be making hat out of it.

         

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    mike o'rourke, Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 4:29pm

    canada

    214,821 views 3 months ago
    The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.

    The crisis in Japan has been described as "a nuclear war without a war". In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami:

    "This time no one dropped a bomb on us ... We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives."

    Nuclear radiation --which threatens life on planet earth-- is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern.

    While the long-term repercussions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are yet to be fully assessed, they are far more serious than those pertaining to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, which resulted in almost one million deaths (New Book Concludes -- Chernobyl death toll: 985,000, mostly from cancer Global Research, September 10, 2010, See also Matthew Penney and Mark Selden The Severity of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster: Comparing Chernobyl and Fukushima, Global Research, May 25, 2011)

    The shaky political consensus both in Japan, the U.S. and Western Europe is that the crisis at Fukushima has been contained.

    The realties, however, are otherwise.

    An opinion poll in May 2011 confirmed that more than 80 per cent of the Japanese population do not believe the government's information regarding the nuclear crisis. (quoted in Sherwood Ross, Fukushima: Japan's Second Nuclear Disaster, Global Research, November 10, 2011)

    The Impacts in Japan

    The Japanese government has been obliged to acknowledge that "the severity rating of its nuclear crisis ... matches that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster". In a bitter irony, however, this tacit admission by the Japanese authorities has proven to been part of the cover-up of a significantly larger catastrophe, resulting in a process of global nuclear radiation and contamination:

    "While Chernobyl was an enormous unprecedented disaster, it only occurred at one reactor and rapidly melted down. Once cooled, it was able to be covered with a concrete sarcophagus that was constructed with 100,000 workers. There are a staggering 4400 tons of nuclear fuel rods at Fukushima, which greatly dwarfs the total size of radiation sources at Chernobyl." ( Extremely High Radiation Levels in Japan: University Researchers Challenge Official Data, Global Research, April 11, 2011)



    Fukushima in the wake of the Tsunami, March 2011

    Worldwide Contamination

    The dumping of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean constitutes a potential trigger to a process of global radioactive contamination. Radioactive elements have not only been detected in the food chain in Japan, radioactive rain water has been recorded in California:

    "Hazardous radioactive elements being released in the sea and air around Fukushima accumulate at each step of various food chains (for example, into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow's meat and milk, then humans). Entering the body, these elements -- called internal emitters -- migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, continuously irradiating small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years often induce cancer". (Helen Caldicott, Fukushima: Nuclear Apologists Play Shoot the Messenger on Radiation, The Age, April 26, 2011)

    While the spread of radiation to the West Coast of North America was casually acknowledged, the early press reports (AP and Reuters) "quoting diplomatic sources" stated that only "tiny amounts of radioactive particles have arrived in California but do not pose a threat to human health."

    "According to the news agencies, the unnamed sources have access to data from a network of measuring stations run by the United Nations' Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization. ...Headquarterd in Austria.

    ... Greg Jaczko, chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,(a Commission with no current funding) told White House reporters on Thursday (March 17) that his experts "don't see any concern from radiation levels that could be harmful here in the United States or any of the U.S. territories

    The Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee chairman Anne McIntosh described the scale of the contamination in the food chain as "breathtaking"

     

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    Violated (profile), Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 4:50pm

    Well this is sad news but what I would have expected in a dictatorship to just ram it home with no discussion or debate contrary to public opinion.

    Canada sure must love ACTA when they are the only one single country to actually proceed to ratify it (in their secondary bill way). Even in the United States ACTA ratification has indefinitely stalled following the death of ACTA in the EU.

    So Canada signs up to an International Trade Agreement composing of one country... so far. This would indeed mark a bad sign if ACTA returns to life.

     

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    Rekrul, Dec 3rd, 2013 @ 2:42am

    Watching the copyright industry push bill after bill, trade agreement after trade agreement, I'm reminded of one of those "defend your base" games where you stand behind a barricade, shooting at the enemies who are trying to get through. At first it's easy as there are few enemies and they're weak. However before long, you're being overwhelmed with faster, tougher enemies and despite your best efforts, they start breaking through the barricades. No matter what weapons you use or how much you build up your defenses, they just keep coming in greater and greater numbers. Eventually the inevitable happens; They break through and you lose.

    The same thing is happening with the copyright industry. They will just keep coming and coming until they finally overwhelm the opposition. It's inevitable. :(

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2013 @ 5:14am

    so now the cat is out of the bag, has anything been done? has their been a massive amount of coverage, as there should be, or are the people going to be completely ignored, yet again, because certain politicians are being bribed to pass a law that they have no interest in, other than what they can get into their bank accounts, and definitely no interest in representing the very ones that voted them into positions to look after their interests? this, yet again, is disgraceful behaviour by powerful people being used as pawns in the entertainment industries game of 'fuck everyone else, this is what we demand to happen'!!
    wake up Canada before you have laws that are similar to China, with no way out!!
    it's about time lobbying in all ways was made illegal and anyone caught doing it or reacting to it in ways that benefit themselves, through their positions of trust for the concerns of the people, should be severely punished! the law should NOT stop just because it is a powerful or wealthy person or friend of, that is carrying out a bad move!

     

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      btrussell (profile), Dec 3rd, 2013 @ 5:53am

      Re:

      When we have a rail crash in Quebec and the first bit of info provided by enforcement is "We have determined it was not a terrorist attack," do not expect the government to go against the states.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2013 @ 7:23pm

    Fuck this rotten world.

     

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    anon, Dec 4th, 2013 @ 6:58am

    Taking bribes again to pass shitty laws

    So Canada's congress takes bribes too. This is the root of broken politics.

     

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    BCLaraby, Dec 4th, 2013 @ 8:22pm

    So you want to stop Bill C-8 (ACTA)?

    On Reddit I've started a campaign to inform Canadians about the return of ACTA and what to do about it. We've got a good head of steam building and I've been researching like crazing (man those Committee meetings are something else).

    I invite everyone to come and get involved in the thread.

     

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    I go by enchi, Dec 15th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    Check b.c.'s interpretation Act a right is defined as a privilege , or licence

     

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