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U.S. Rejects Canadian Rejection of DMCA 870

Posted by timothy
from the spy-vs-mountie dept.
P Starrson writes " Slashdot readers may recall that last month Canadian policy makers rejected the DMCA for Canada. Not so fast apparently -- the U.S. Trade Representative has released the annual Section 301 report which each year tells the rest of the world that they need stronger intellectual property protection. This year Canada is a particular target -- the U.S. plans to conduct a special review of Canadian policies and explicitly rejects Canada's rejection of the DMCA. A good summary on what this means from Canadian law professor Michael Geist."
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U.S. Rejects Canadian Rejection of DMCA

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  • Re:As a Canadian... (Score:3, Informative)

    by noidentity (188756) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:37PM (#12401076)
    As an American, I accept your rejection of our rejection or your rejection of our lame-ass DMCA.
  • Geist's blog (Score:2, Informative)

    by deathazre (761949) <mreedsmith@gmail.com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:39PM (#12401093)
    Am I the only one
    who finds it
    incredibly hard to
    read Geist's blog
    when the text wraps
    every three or four
    words?
  • Re:the summary (Score:3, Informative)

    by HybridJeff (717521) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:51PM (#12401200) Homepage
    You know all it took was a copy and paste right? U.S. Government Objects to Canadian Copyright Reform Plan

    The U.S. Trade Representative has issued its annual report on global intellectual property protection, known as the Special 301 Report. Once again, Canada finds itself in good company on the list (a more interesting list would consist of countries who meet the U.S. standard for IP protection).

    This year's report is most notable for its comment on Canada's copyright reform plan, announced just last month. The USTR has the following to say about Canada:

    "Canada is being maintained on the Special 301 Watch List in 2005, and the United States will conduct an out-of-cycle review to monitor Canada's progress on IPR issues during the upcoming year. We urge Canada to ratify and implement the WIPO Internet Treaties as soon as possible, and to reform its copyright law so that it provides adequate and effective protection of copyrighted works in the digital environment. The Canadian court decision finding that making files available for copying on a peer-to-peer file sharing service cannot give rise to liability for infringement under existing Canadian copyright law underscores the need for Canada to join nearly all other developed countries in implementing the WIPO Internet Treaties. The U.S. copyright industry is concerned about proposed copyright legislation regarding technological protection measures and internet service provider (ISP) liability, which if passed, would appear to be a departure from the requirements of the WIPO Internet Treaties as well as the international standards adopted by most OECD countries in the world. The United States urges Canada to adopt legislation that is consistent with the WIPO Internet Treaties and is in line with the international standards of most developed countries. Specifically, we encourage Canada to join the strong international consensus by adopting copyright legislation that provides comprehensive protection to copyrighted works in the digital environment, by outlawing trafficking in devices to circumvent technological protection measures, and by establishing a "notice-and-takedown" system to encourage cooperation by ISPs in combating online infringements. It also is imperative that Canada improve its enforcement system so that it can stop the extensive trade in counterfeit and pirated products, as well as curb the amount of transshipped and transiting goods in Canada. The United States also urges Canada to enact legislation that would provide a stronger border enforcement system by giving its customs officers greater authority to seize products suspected of being pirated or counterfeit. We also encourage greater cooperation between Customs and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in enforcement matters, and encourage Canada to provide additional resources and training to its customs officers and domestic law enforcement personnel. Canada's border measures continue to be a serious concern for IP owners. With respect to data protection, we recognize that Canada has taken positive steps to improve its data protection regime. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is concerned about certain aspects of the proposed regulations. The United States will use the out-of-cycle review to monitor Canada's progress in providing an adequate and effective IPR protection regime that is consistent with its international obligations and advanced level of economic development, including improved border enforcement and full implementation of data protection."

    What to take away from this? Not surprisingly, Canada's balanced proposal for copyright reform does not leave the U.S. copyright industries particularly happy. It isn't just that they want Canada to implement the WIPO Internet treaties, they want us to implement a Canadian version of the DMCA. They interestingly question whether the Canadian plan meets WIPO standards given the exclusion of devices from our anti-circumvention provisions. I think a plain reading of the WIPO Internet treaties suggests that it does. Meetin

  • Re:NAFTA? (Score:4, Informative)

    by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:57PM (#12401261)
    Could the USA claim the Canadian rejection of the DMCA violates NAFTA somehow?

    The USA might make that argument. But it's just as likely that the DMCA ban on badly defined "circumvention" devices could be held to violate NAFTA, just like a Canadian ban on dangerous gasoline aditives was found to violate NAFTA.

    c.
  • As an American... (Score:5, Informative)

    by PhoenixFlare (319467) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:58PM (#12401264) Journal
    Hurry the hell up and do it already, with my blessing.

    Looking at the old 301 reports, I see mention that Canada has been on the "Watch List" since 1995, along with a host of other countries.
  • by saskboy (600063) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:58PM (#12401269) Homepage Journal
    Please write your MP on this matter. Use my letter below if you don't want to write your own.
    Send your letter for free (no postage necessary), to your MP at the following address:
    [your MP's name] M.P.
    House of Commons
    Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

    Find their email address, but write by paper mail too. http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/hou se/PostalCode.asp?lang=E [parl.gc.ca]

    Dear Mr. Breitkreuz
    To summarize the issues in this letter:
    1. Internet Service Providers should not be required to keep extensive logs of private and legal online communications.

    2. The government must not stop Canadian citizens from making personal-use copies of their legally purchased software, music, and movie media.

    Background:
    http://pch.gc.ca/progs/ac-ca/progs/pda-cpb/reform/ statement_e.cfm [pch.gc.ca]

    Here is the reasoning:
    The purpose of the Copyright Act is to support creativity and innovation in the arts and culture. To design a new Act on the failed and draconian Digital Millenium Copyright Act of the United States of America, would be a disaster for Canadian culture, and innovation. Also our court system could become clogged with law abiding citizens who make personal use copies of their music, software, and movie collections for no personal financial gain. An implementation of the proposed changes to the Copyright Act would unleash another "Gun Registry boondoggle" onto the Canadian people - creating criminals out of law abiding citizens at the expense of Canadian taxpayers.

    Internet Service Providers like Sasktel should not be made to keep extensive client usage logs for possible future prosecution by various copyright-based industries. I don't want to pay for that system to be put into effect, and I don't think most people do. The phone companies are not forced by the government to record the content of phone conversations, only police can do that with a proper warrant. ISP logs are going to be equivalent to phone-taps, and that's a violation of my privacy. It's doing the job of the police, and is for the sole benefit of an industry basing its profits on an outdated business model that is no longer realistic for the Canadian government to protect.
    It is completely unfair to be paying a levy to artists organizations for purchasing blank CD media to make home-use private copies of legal CD music, and now to also be unable to legally copy the music I've paid for off of Digital Rights Managed CDs. If copying CD music is going to be illegal, why is the government collecting money from the product for an illegal activity? I'm satisfied that the current levy is helping to compensate artists from illegitimate copying, and no new law is required to prevent me and other people from making sensible backups of our legal music, software, and movie collections.

    Your representation in the House of Commons on this matter is greatly appreciated by me, and other supporters of personal liberty and innovation in the arts. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely,
    my name
  • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:00PM (#12401288)
    ... who's also very likely a twit. You've been warned.

    As much as I hate the DMCA and the idea of it coming here, I think that the /. summary claiming Canada was "a particular target" in the report was unfair. Bulgaria got almost as much paragraph space. Indonesia, Russia, and the EU are just a few of the other places getting "out of cycle" reviews for various things, in addition to another bunch of countries they just finished reviewing. Looks like it's just one more minor font of political pressure, like when the ambassador stamps his feet and whines.

    As to the 301 list, it's a long list and several countries are on the Special 301 Watch Double Secret Probation List twice, once as themselves and then again as the EU. I don't see Italians leaping out of windows over it.

    As to the actual political reality... the minority Liberal government is disintegrating under the weight of the Gomery inquiry, Conservative honcho Harper's visibly salivating at the thoughts of an election (which is just hurting him, but that's another rant...) and the NDP and Bloc can hardly be described as solid Liberal allies. I'm sure Prime Minister Paul Martin's not going to be losing a lot of sleep over this report. A radioactive bin Laden clone army could come across the ocean on giant flying squirrels and I don't think Martin would notice unless it would take the phrase "Sponsorship Scandal" out of newscaster's mouths.

    and by establishing a "notice-and-takedown" system to encourage cooperation by ISPs in combating online infringements

    Not related to anything else, but I love that phrase. Gives me the image of linebackers in SWAT team body armor busting into houses and stomping on people.

    Do I think the DMCA's going to get here? Eventually it will, and that will be a Bad Thing. But not for a while. Given that these days the typical Canadian reaction to the phrase "I'm an American." is a disappointed "Oh.", I don't think the bandwagon's going to be jumped on quite that quick. It's worth fighting for now, sure, but I'm not grabbing a P2P program and completing my Britney Spears MP3 collection (ewwwwww, I just made myself sick) tonight for fear of the Digital Millennium Copyright Apocalypse.

  • Re:As a Canadian... (Score:3, Informative)

    by FidelCatsro (861135) <fidelcatsro AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:06PM (#12401353) Journal
    I understand what your trying to say , but that is a really insensitive way of saying it .
    5000 or so people -innocent people ,lost their lives .
    The upshot of it is that several thousand more people have lost their lives on both sides, violence never solves anything ...

    I too have very strong feeling against the american Gouvernment right now , though non atall against the american people .
    If you feel Strongly About the abuses the American Gouvernment has commited then you only cheapen your argument by trivialising those peoples lives.

    I understand you were joking , but dude , this is not the right time or place for that(in that manner) .

    Stand tall in your belives ,yes , but never at the expense of a life or at the trivialisation of one lost in such a tragic manner.

  • Re:As a Canadian... (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:07PM (#12401369)
    As an American, I agree. My country is far too full of itself for its own good. Arrogance and pushiness are not virtues.

    Thanks koreth, that's a very enlightened view and as a fellow U.S. citizen I completely agree.

    Just a minor nit-pick... Canadians are Americans too. And so are Cubans, Brazilians and the citizens of all countries in this continent called America. Because everyone knows America's not a country, even if the silly government of the United States OF America tries to take the name for itself. ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:22PM (#12401524)
    I hate Bush too, but let's not forget that Clinton is the culprit on this one: http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/iclp/dmca1.htm [ucla.edu] But yes, Bush shouldn't be screwing up other countries with the same screwups.
  • Re:As a Canadian... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Coryoth (254751) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:24PM (#12401546) Homepage Journal
    Unfortunately the USA is doing a remarkably good job of fucking itself. Right now the US economy is walking a rather fine line. Let me explain:

    The US has been living beyond its means - that is, it has a huge current account deficit: net capital inflow to the US far outweighs capital outflow. In and of itself that isn't necessarily bad, and is certainly no reason to panic: it has happened before, and will likely happen again. The issue is more about the reasons for the current account deficit. In a large part it is due the continued budget deficits of the current government, but is also due to US consumers appetite for imported goods without a similar growth in US exports. In theory this situation is naturally correcting via a falling US Dollar: imports become more expensive, and exports become cheaper more attractive to foreign buyers. The US Dollar has been falling (quite significantly) against world currencies for the last year or more. This drop hasn't yet caused a turn around in the current account deficit - it has continued to grow apace.

    Mix a falling Dollar (via pressure from the current account) with the current growing demand for oil from China and the resulting increase in oil prices, and you have a powerful recipe for inflation. Again, this is an issue that can be dealt with: the Fed can raise interest rates to combat inflation, as they have been doing very steadily for the last 6 months or more. The risk is that raising interest rates too high will put serious pressure on an already slowing economy, and has risks for the (rather bubble like) US Housing market.

    US consumers, and the US government, have been abusing the line of credit offered on the strength of the US economy (and the expectation that the US can grow its way out of the debt). Things are beginning to look a little tight, and the Fed is now walking a very fine line trying to combat inflation without killing the economy in the process.

    The nest year or two could be very interesting indeed.

    Jedidiah.
  • by pafrusurewa (524731) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:40PM (#12401710)

    The US and Canada have incredibly tightly integrated economies. BOTH countries export and import 80% of their goods with each other. Mutual dependance.


    Huh? Surely this can only be true for Canada as there aren't enough Canadians to buy 80% of U.S. exports?
    Let me quote the CIA World Factbook.
    • Canada
      • Exports - partners: US 86.6%, Japan 2.1%, UK 1.4% (2003)
      • Imports - partners: US 60.6%, China 5.6%, Japan 4.1% (2003)
    • United States
      • Exports - partners: Canada 23.4%, Mexico 13.5%, Japan 7.2%, UK 4.7%, Germany 4% (2003)
      • Imports - partners: Canada 17.4%, China 12.5%, Mexico 10.7%, Japan 9.3%, Germany 5.3% (2003)
  • Re:Sovereignty (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mad Marlin (96929) <cgore@cgore.com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:58PM (#12401853) Homepage
    I hate to break it to you, but the United Nations isn't even close to being a democracy.
  • by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @07:13PM (#12402012)
    Here is an article [sysdesign.ca] describing the proposed changes to Canadian copyright law, as well as the background -- industry lobby from the USA. This article is pulled from the Digital Copyright Canada [digital-copyright.ca] web site which is trying to organize citizens feedback to politicians, with respect to the DMCA in Canada.
  • Re:As a Canadian... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Emetophobe (878584) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @07:28PM (#12402168)
    This reminds me of a U.S Religious Lobby group that has been trying to stop/prevent Canada from legalizing same sex marriage. I can't find the original story link from the Toronto Star, but managed to find others.

    Here [typepad.com] here [about.com] here [emergence.qc.ca] here [samesexmarriage.ca]

    Here is a quote from one of the stories:

    Powerful U.S. religious groups are sending money and support to allies in Canada to fight same-sex marriage.

    Patrick Korten, vice-president of communications for the Knights of Columbus head office in New Haven, Conn., said no limit has been set on the help his organization is prepared to offer. "Whatever it takes," he said. "The family is too important." Mr. Korten said the U.S. headquarters of the Catholic men's group paid $80,782 to print two million postcards being distributed in Catholic churches across Canada. "It has been extremely enthusiastically received in Catholic parishes all over Canada. As a matter of fact we may have to print some more -- there was a great deal of interest in it. It offers a quick, simple but effective way for Catholics ... to make their feelings about the same-sex marriage bill known to their MPs." Another opponent of same-sex marriage, Focus on the Family, is also sending support and services worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to its Canadian affiliate. James Dobson, the charismatic founder of Focus on the Family who has been described as one of the most influential Christian figures in the United States, personally waded into the debate two weeks ago in a radio show taped in Colorado Springs, Colo., and transmitted as a paid broadcast to 130 stations in Canada. "It is clear here in the United States that the American people do not want same-sex marriage. I would hope that Canadians who also do not want same-sex marriage would be encouraged by what has happened down here."


    What the hell is wrong with the USA, when they have to force their religious beliefs on other countries? Canadians hate being told what to do by Americans, and we usually will do the opposite of what they want, just to spite them.
  • by drxray (839725) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @07:42PM (#12402287) Homepage
    The US has a large number of military bases on UK soil - http://www.caab.org.uk/ [caab.org.uk]. Early warning systems, airfields, etc. A legacy of the cold war, but they've been used to lauch bomber raids on various places since it ended - presumably it's cheaper than parking an aircraft carrier in the North Sea.
    I'm not aware of any UK military bases on US soil, I'd be interested to know if there are any.
  • by smagruder (207953) <stevem@webcommons.biz> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @07:56PM (#12402409) Homepage
    Noting that real Americans call themselves Americans. :)
  • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @08:06PM (#12402488)
    even in Canada-like Austrailia, have IP laws nowhere near the stupidity of the DMCA
    No in Australia we rolled over and agreed to put in some US style IP laws to get a trade deal - a trade deal which ended up screwing Australia over in other ways and delivering nothing that was originally promised (sugar, beef, steel - why did we ever think we had a hope on these?). As a consequence the Australian government, which has previously been saying yes to everything the USA proposed, is taking the Chinese view on the Taiwan situation to try to get a trade deal with China. Whether Australia actually implements these laws remains to be seen and probably depends on how bad the trade deal looks to the electorate in years to come, and US-China relations.

    Australia went into Iraq with mercenary intentions - please the USA and we get this fantastic new trade deal. It's probably fair enough that we got screwed with a deal that is one sided - but can't expect much when the Australian govenment is incompetant enough to deport its own citizens by mistake.

  • True (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mark_MF-WN (678030) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:33PM (#12403121)
    It's true -- BC, Alberta, and Ontario are the only provinces that generate more tax revenue than they consume. The rest of the country is supported by us. It's not unlike how the American south is completely dependent on subsidies from the more developed states (which is ironic given the South's hatred of the very taxes which allow them survive).
  • by BlueFashoo (463325) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:16PM (#12403443)
    It's a joke.

    It used to be said that the sun never sets on the British Empire [friesian.com], as in they had territory all over the world, and therefore it was always daytime somewhere in the British empire. The US has bases all over the world, in Japan, Germany, Cuba, the Middle East, and many other countries as the DoD PDF indicates, therefore, it is always daytime in some US base, and thus the sun never sets in the American Empire.
  • Re:NAFTA? (Score:3, Informative)

    by TC (WC) (459050) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:22PM (#12403490) Journal
    Could the USA claim the Canadian rejection of the DMCA violates NAFTA somehow?

    NAFTA isn't relevant to copyright law at all, as far as I know.
  • by Heretik (93983) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:00AM (#12404400)
    Canada doesn't need better "intellectual property" protection.. if we felt we needed better "IP" protection, then we would create some.

    The states need to learn to mind their own goddamn business, and let other countries run themselves the way they see fit.
  • by Grym (725290) on Monday May 02, 2005 @02:28AM (#12404785)

    ..cheer them on as they go around laying waste to every thing good, wise and moral.

    What? Like Sadaam Hussein? The Taliban?

    Oh... Maybe you mean domestically "good" things such as fair use and public domains? Tell me... which fundamentalist signed both the DMCA and Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act?

    -Grym

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