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U.S. Rejects Canadian Rejection of DMCA 870

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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  • NAFTA? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xanthines-R-yummy ( 635710 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:08PM (#12400803) Homepage Journal
    Is this related to NAFTA at all? Could the USA claim the Canadian rejection of the DMCA violates NAFTA somehow? Or could Canada use NAFTA to uphold their policy on DMCA?

    Just some random (and probably irrelevant!) thoughts...

  • Y'know what? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Grave_Rose ( 715146 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:19PM (#12400904)
    The United States can lobby it's ass off all it wants to but one fact remains: We're our own country. I didn't have a vote in your election process nor did any Americans (except dual-citizens) have a vote in our election. We are not the 51st state. I have nothing against individual Americans (most of those I've met are really swell people) but as a whole, they really suck.

  • Re:As a Canadian... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by koreth ( 409849 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:22PM (#12400928)
    As an American, I agree. My country is far too full of itself for its own good. Arrogance and pushiness are not virtues.
  • As a Canadian... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mr. Flibble ( 12943 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:22PM (#12400935) Homepage
    As a Canadian I have to say - "STAY THE FUCK OUT OF OUR LAWS."

    Granted, as the U.S. is our largest trading partner, we have a number of things that are a little "grey" or messed up... For example, if it was not for the U.S. influence we probably would have legalized pot long ago.

    I love the minority government we have right now though - our Prime Minister just denied a number of the White Houses requests because there could have been a forced election if he went against the will of the people. I hope it continues this way - bizzare concept I know - the will of the people driving things?

    What is really sad is that much of our law is based on the changes that came about in the U.S. oh, about 200 years ago... (And English law as well)
  • Re:And, of course (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nametaken ( 610866 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:23PM (#12400940)
    This is a good point. Our PR class covered the DMCA a couple weeks ago, and our teacher couldn't stop saying, "this is the world we live in, folks".

    I got the impression most kids didn't know it even exists, and this is on a college campus where liberal ideas are tatooed on your forehead as a prereq for admission.

    Even my strctly conservative father doesn't like the DMCA after a brief explaination of its implications. I think people just don't know what its all about.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:24PM (#12400951)
    Dear USA trade reps,

    We don't want the DMCA in Canada. If you insist we will stop selling you our water, hydro power, wheat, uranium, copper, lumber, oil, and Maple Syrup.

    Oh, and you can't test your bombs and torpedoes here.

    Many Apologies in advance,

    PS: If you really piss us off, we have a secret Beaver Army. Evil Beavers.
  • Dammit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sv-Manowar ( 772313 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:24PM (#12400954) Homepage Journal
    "tells the rest of the world they need stronger intellectual property protection"

    How about telling the US they need a stronger currency so the people making money legally from the DMCA can actually convert it without being left with peanuts. I love the hypocrisy of the US at the moment. God bless Canada for having the balls reject it.
  • Re:As a Canadian... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ogewo ( 652234 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:27PM (#12400978)
    I say it's way past time Canada and the rest of the world told the US to go fuck itself.
    If people in this world weren't so oversensitive you could say just that and it would be very effective. Instead people tip-toe around the issue and sugar coat and diplomatize to the point where a hegemon doesn't realize they've overstepped their bounds. The headline "Canada: Fuck off USA" would be like a shot to the jaw, it would knock a little sense into the politicians.
  • by FidelCatsro ( 861135 ) <fidelcatsro@gmai ... m minus math_god> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:47PM (#12401159) Journal
    you know i like tony blair for one reason , he is the greatest thing to hapen to the scottish independance movment since Thatcher .
    I am sick fed up of his Brown(Pun not a false capital) nosing to Bush.
    John Smith would have been a Truely great leader had he not sufferd the heart attack(Blair got in ridding off of Smiths past achivments) and had he been alive today i am sure he would have told Bush where to shove it(perhaps i over-esteem him , but i really admired the man, an honest politican is a rare thing)...I digress.

    The Blair-Bush alliance would suffer some serious problems if it occurs that a political problem hapens with canada and the US, The commenwealth is still a major source of trade and the rest of europe would quickly side with Canada forcing the Labservitives hand .
  • FTA (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SkiifGeek ( 702936 ) <info AT beskerming DOT com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:48PM (#12401177) Homepage Journal

    In the same vein, what about the Australian / US FTA?

    There were a lot of concessions in Australia as needed for obtaining the FTA, and I dare say that the proposed Australian / Chinese FTA would put a bit of a damper on things given the apparent disregard for IP that the Chinese seem to display (good thing and bad thing).

    I feel that the relevancy of the US as 'global leader' is slipping already, and the cross over point is not far away, where the EU and China become the new powerhouses (look at EU and China proposed weapons deals as an initial indicator). Soon, other countries will treat the US as a toothless tiger and will start ignoring the pressure from the US to do things 'their way', but that is still a little way off (look at posturing in the Korean peninsula, and the sabre-rattling over Taiwan).

  • by BlueFashoo ( 463325 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:51PM (#12401192)
    As an American, I can say that many of us do, and we don't like it. Chalmers Johnson recently wrote a book [] called the Sorrows of Empire making the case that we are indeed an empire in all but name. This realization has been slowly growing. People who make the claim that we are an empire are less often dismissed as cynics. Even the Economist [] is claiming that we are an empire.

    We have military personell in over 135 nations. [] Most have less than 20 and are probably guarding embassies, but more than you would think have over 1000, including Belgium. The UK has over 13,000. It can be said that the sun never sets on the American Empire.

    Many Americans are horified by this. Some are proud of it. Some are both horrified and proud.

    Another interesting site
  • Re:As an American (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:51PM (#12401201)
    You know, I think it's totally awesome that your sig references a band that would find your political standpoint utterly repugnant.
  • The conservatives are going nowhere, maybe even a few steps backwards. Especially if the election is held within the next few months. It's my opinion that people are waking up to the nightmare that Harper is, the guy is a lunatic foaming at lips. I've talked to a number of people that will be voting NDP in the next election, switching from their conservative last conservative vote (which makes no bloody sense, but they felt there was no choice in the last election, they didn't want to vote liberal, so they voted for Harper and his gang of anti-canadian thugs.) I expect NDP gains of 25-30 seats, gains for the liberals, losses for the conservatives.

    I guess that all depends how long this government survives, it's looking like Prime Minister Layton's magic worked, so far.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:06PM (#12401354)
    Do you think Bush could leave other countries alone for 10 bloody seconds??

    what if Canada closed its US border, as if to indicate its level of disapproval of US foreign policy?
  • by MrBigInThePants ( 624986 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:13PM (#12401434)
    What I find amusing is that you find rejecting a facist policy such as the DMCA a "fuck you".

    What I find a bigger "fuck you" is feeling that he can push his internal policies on other countries, even if they stand to hurt that country and its own internal policies.

    It is a bit like trying to turn countries from socialism/communism using mulitary coups and CIA involvement, even when it is against the will of the people. (sometime at home as well)

    Oh wait...that already happened....many times...
  • by demachina ( 71715 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:16PM (#12401475)
    "the US will back up these strong suggestions with threats of trade sanctions etc"

    Well in answer to that all I need do is point out that Canada is America's largest external supplier of oil and I would guess probably natural gas. I'm pretty sure that China would be glad to take all of Canada's oil currently going to the U.S. if the Bush administration were to be their usual arrogant selves and start a another trade war. Venezuela is on the verge of doing just this and they account for another big chunk of America's oil imports like 12% if I remember. This tactic wouldn't work very well if there was a surplus in the oil markets but there isn't a surplus now so it DOES work very well.

    For a country that is completely dependent on the rest of the world for energy and is by far the world's largest debtor nation its threats are starting to ring pretty hollow. The U.S. does have the honking big military but its been established that the American military is pretty impotent as long as you don't go toe to toe with them in the open and opt for an insurgency instead.

    The U.S. really does need to be blessed with an attitude adjustment that when you have become completely dependent on the rest of the world for energy, completely dependent on other nations to to prop up your massive debt, and most of your manufactured goods come from abroad that you are a pretty impotent nation and the rest of the world can start treating you as such.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:34PM (#12401652)
    As a Canadian, I can still understand why the US re-elected Bush. Many Canadians were bewildered, but from an average American's point of view, it makes sense. There were 2 candidates, and one of them (Bush) has much better leadership skills than the other. He doesn't have great leadership skills, but the other guy had absolutely none.

    The number one thing that a leader needs to do is "walk the talk". People disagree with Bush, but nobody doubts that he means what he says. Regardless of his views, the public will follow someone they trust, even if they don't like what they trust he's going to do. These days things are very uncertain, and most people are not really sure what should be done. Bush says, "this is what we need to do". That makes him a better leader than someone who makes no commitments, even though his plan may be full of holes.

    I certainly think Bush is a dork, but given the choice between him and Kerry, I can't say I'd put any weight behind Kerry.

    There are, however, people who just worship Bush, and that I don't understand, unless they're hoping it will give their religion an unfair advantage over other minority groups in their country. That makes some sense.
  • Re:As a Canadian... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aftermath09 ( 521504 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:53PM (#12401817)

    I think what the parent is referring to is the fact that business will innovate far quicker in china because they will not get caught up in the ip red tape that is in the US.

    I see your point, but I doubt the chinese government are that stupid as to waver foreign investor confidence and "take all their ip" as you say. instead, increased taxation in a profitable business sector is a far more PC and palatable approach.

    you see, the US patent law seems to try to protect ideas from being profited on by others, but instead, is being used as a vehicle to stifle invention. take for instance, Kodak vs. Sun over Java. Kodak waits until Sun makes a few $$$, and then sues them for their "patent infringement". what happens the next time someone half intelligent builds something great in their garage? should they search through and interpret every single patent that's been registered before making that invention? no, instead, they will not bother at all. and that's where countries like China will offer a more competitive environment, where the best ideas will survive (because they need to be good in order to!)

  • Re:As a Canadian... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PygmySurfer ( 442860 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @06:56PM (#12401839)
    Sorry, but I've a sneaking suspicion the rest of Canada puts more money into Quebec than they're "stealing".

    How about you just give Ontario back all the money you've, uhh, "borrowed"?
  • Re:As a Canadian... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by beforewisdom ( 729725 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @07:14PM (#12402035)

    I say it's way past time Canada and the rest of the world told the US to go fuck itself.

    I think it is way past time for Canada to point out to the UN that the US is in violation of UN resolutions, has had questionable elections, and should be invaded by a U.N. force to restore democracy.

    If Conoleeza Rice and Tom Delay are part of the collateral damage we will learn to live with it.
  • by Husgaard ( 858362 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @07:33PM (#12402216)
    All countries in the EU have to adhere to DMCA-like legislation. And my country has to adhere to worse legislation due to US pressure.

    I am lucky that I cannot get jailed for viewing a legally purchased DVD under Linux. Our parliament didn't directly implement that in the law, but put an exception in the law comments that (I hope) will keep me out of jail while viewing legally purchased content with an non-approved DVD viewer.

    That legislation was imposed on the EU from the US and US corporations.

    Another law change was imposed specifically on our country after a threath of US trade restrictions through the WTO. This law change makes it possible for copyright holders to raid my private home if it is "probable" that I may have violated a copyright (or patent, or trademark). No need to get the police involved, a "probable violation" for a non-criminal offence is enough to get my private home raided.

    In particular the last law change made it clear to me why so many people around the globe hate the US because they think the US tries to impose their views on them. This gave me a better understanding of why a lot of US-foreign people think the US is imperialistic, and condome terrorist actions.

    I still do not concome terrorist actions, but I hate the US government now (fortunately not the US people although they are supposed to have democratically have selected their government), and understand why some people want to retailate against the US.

  • by JohnTheFisherman ( 225485 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @08:08PM (#12402500)
    America doesn't care about the effect it has on other economies. It just wants its way. And because Canada needs the US more than the US needs Canada, they can use that leverage to force us to change our policies to benefit their industries.

    You forgot to mention that Canada doesn't care about the effect it has on other economies, and they seem to have plenty of leverage to force changes in American policy, thanks to NAFTA! ronicle/archive/1999/06/18/MN12059.DTL []

    MTBE is nasty stuff, and Canadians are ready to sue the US to make sure it continues to make its way into our ground water. There's plenty more where that came from, too. e []
  • by Aeron65432 ( 805385 ) <agiamba@gma i l .com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @08:41PM (#12402729) Homepage
    Let me just make one thing clear, and I'm not trying to flame/troll at all. In fact I agree with 99% of /.ers that the DMCA sucks.

    Governments exist to serve the people that it represents. Of course the US is going to try to get its way, it's what it wants. Every other government does it too.

    If all governments acted in the best interests of everyone, not just their people, we'd have global peace. As you can see from conflicts in Israel, Iraq, Taiwan, etc. etc. etc, this is not the case.
  • by rico33 ( 822701 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @08:45PM (#12402766)
    Except for one point, We are the largest seller of Oil to the US, is that a faucet I hear being shut off. And electricity, don't forget about that. Boy is New York Dark all of a sudden.
  • by morcheeba ( 260908 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:34PM (#12403129) Journal
    The tasty ugly ripe tomato [] has been banned from export from florida. There's nothing wrong with it -- it's tasty, but it doesn't look smooth like the other tomatoes. The regulations only cover appearance and not taste.

    Oh well, kindof off topic, but we can't even handle inter-state commerce. Too much power that was put in the hands of other (competing) growers -- it should have never left the government. If you get one of these tomatoes, it probably came from mexico.
  • Re:As a Canadian... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MKalus ( 72765 ) <`mkalus' `at' `'> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:57PM (#12403285) Homepage
    Seems you haven't followed the news out of Canada in the past two years. More than one Polition has told them that in pretty much those words....

    Of course the US didn't like it was demanding that those people lose their jobs, how dare they critize (for whatever reason) the mighty US of A?

    So much for free speech.
  • by Emetophobe ( 878584 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:59PM (#12403303)
    God damn! $179,000!! Thats a nice bribe, er I mean...donation.

    I believe a bill was passed a while ago in Canada, that limits the amount any company/individual can donate per year.

    After doing a quick google search, I came up with this related link here []


    This bill will limit corporate donations to 1000 dollars, and personal donations to 10000 dollars meaning a CEO of a multinational multibillion dollar corporation would only be able to contribute 11000 dollars in total. Furthermore, political donations may only be given to the candidate or riding association. Contributions to any political party are banned. All donations over 200 dollars will be publicly and fully disclosed.

    So basically, this $179,000 that the RIAA payed Orrin Hatch, would be illegal in Canada under the proposed bill. And if I read it correctly, you can only donate during an election campaign, not while they're already in office. I'm not sure if this bill was ever passed, but I sure hope so. It's a good idea and United States needs to adopt something similar.
  • by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:25PM (#12403515)
    Strangely enough, that's almost exactly how things were in the Parliament of Great Britain in good Old King George's day, totally rotten []... you lot rebelled because you had no representation, the "corporations" of the day were buying ther law and you lot couldn't get access.

    The Tea was forced upon you by the East India Company buying a law because you lot wouldn't buy their tea in the first place because of the ridiculous tax upon it []...

    The British East India Company had controlled all tea trading between India and the British colonies. As a result of the tea tax, the colonies refused to buy the British tea. Instead, they smuggled tea in from Holland. This left the British East India Company with warehouses full of unsold tea, and the company was in danger of going out of business.

    The British government was determined to prevent the British East India Company from going out of business. It was going to force the colonists to buy their tea. In May 1773, Prime Minister North and the British parliament passed the Tea Act. The Tea Act allowed the British East India Company to sell tea directly to the colonists, bypassing the colonial wholesale merchants. This allowed the company to sell their tea cheaper than the colonial merchants who were selling smuggled tea from Holland.
  • Re:Unfortunately (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:29PM (#12403535)
    Just like Iraq and other countries, right?

    Not really. Unlike Iraq, Canada and those who would immediately ally with her have more than enough firepower to level the entire United States several times over. More realistically, they have more than enough trade power to cripple the US economy several times over.

  • Re:Pffft (Score:3, Interesting)

    by belmolis ( 702863 ) <billposer@a l u m . m> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:58PM (#12403762) Homepage

    Indeed. An aspect of Canadian law that is quite lacking in American law is the notion of "the honour of the Crown", which crudely put is that the government has an obligation to Do the Right Thing even if it may not be explicitly obligated to do so by statute or precedent.

  • by iamnotanumber6 ( 755703 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @12:38AM (#12404303)
    The USA can suck my balls if they want us to adopt the DMCA. ... The only way to keep things the way they are is to voice to those in charge that this is the way you like it!

    Yup, I'm pretty sure this is the way the majority of Canadians feel on this issue. And RIGHT NOW would be really good time to express those feelings!

    Because, the Copyright Act is up for ammendment.

    And the government is about to fall.

    Because of the scandal involving kickbacks to the Liberal party several years back, the facts of which are just coming out, the Conservative party and the Bloc Quebecois (the separatist party) are at this moment planning to team up to defeat the current Liberal government and force another election, even though there was one just about a year ago.

    There are two images that come to mind when I think about these parties:

    one, prime minister Brian Mulroney (Conservative), singing songs with his good friend Ronald Reagan, and signing away many of Canada's rights as a sovereign nation under the first controversial Free Trade agreement.

    two, prime minister Jean Chretien (Liberal) politely but firmly declining to help George Bush invade Iraq, despite immense pressure. I know this might be a sore spot with some Americans, but, it represented the will of the people, most of whom were not convinced about the existence of WMD and so on.

    So which of these parties do I trust to have a more fair approach to the new copyright act, without caving in to U.S. pressure? The Liberals have already announced their plans, and although it's not perfect, it's far far better than the DMCA.

    But now I'm afraid this version will be thrown away, and the Conservatives will come up with their own DMCA-friendly act instead.

    So, Canadians, write your MPs, and sign the petition: []

  • by geminidomino ( 614729 ) * on Monday May 02, 2005 @12:52AM (#12404372) Journal
    when we so gleefully elect religious fundamentalists to power

    I think you need to watch your pronouns there, buddy. Of the (what, about 33%) population that voted in the last election, BARELY over half voted for Redneck Nero. There's a good percentage of us, too, that call bullshit on his playing "Army men" with real men.

    I'm dreading a 2008 election between Jeb "Rule of Law *snicker*" Bush and Hillary "It takes a village" Clinton. I'll just have to kill myself.
  • Re:Unfortunately (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @12:44PM (#12408850)
    Problem is, peaceful means like trade sanctions won't work against the US. [...] So you need the military upper hand as well if you're going to get anywhere.

    US vs. The Rest Of The World isn't a tough one to call.

    Ultimately, slamming the US in every way but military may be the only way for the rest of the world to make them understand that they are not the world's leaders, the world's policemen, and the world's judge, jury and executioner if they want to be. The US administration has delusions of grandeur on an horrific scale, as demonstrated pretty clearly by the fact that we're having this discussion in the first place. Profit-hungry US megacorps now control a large amount of that administration, yet have little credibility anywhere else. Even the mindset of the US people as a collective (and I do realise that a lot of individual US citizens strongly oppose this) has become increasingly arrogant in recent years.

    It's now almost inevitable that someone will take action to give the people making the decisions over there a little perspective sooner rather than later, before their meddling does too much damage anywhere else. The only question is who's going to do it first, China unilaterally, the middle east collectively, Europe, or someone else. In any case, if Bush gets away without a serious international incident for the remainder of his second term, I'll be amazed.

Civilization, as we know it, will end sometime this evening. See SYSNOTE tomorrow for more information.