The US Trade Representative is once again trying to pressure Canada into adopting a version of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (a 1998 US law that's enabled rightsholders to sue tens of thousands of music fans as well as technology companies, without having any effect on downloading). The strategy is the same as last time, putting Canada on the "Priority Watch List" of countries that are soft on pirates.
Now, you may say that the US has no business telling Canada what sort of copyright laws it should have, and you'd be right.
But as Michael Geist points out, the idea that Canada is a pirate nation is just wrong -- even using the US copyright lobby's own numbers, Canada is a model citizen.
The Absurdity of the USTR's Blame Canada Approach
Not only is Canada not even remotely close to any other country on the list, it has the lowest software piracy rate of any of the 46 countries in the entire Special 301 Report. Moreover, it is compliant with its international IP obligations, participates in ACTA, has prosecuted illegal camcording, has the RCMP prioritizing IP matters, has statutory damages provisions, features far more copyright collectives than the U.S., and has a more restrictive fair dealing/fair use provision.
After years of missteps, blunders and disasters in which Youtube users have been censored through spurious copyright claims or had their accounts deleted altogether, Google has announced an amazing, user-friendly new initiative though which it will fund the legal defense of Youtube creators who are censored by bad-faith copyright infringement claims.
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