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.
Businesses like Adobe Stock use large, visible watermarks to deter copyright infringement; a new paper presented by Google Researchers to the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition shows that these watermarks can be reliably detected and undetectably erased by software.
US court records are not copyrighted, but the US court system operates a paywall called “PACER” that is supposed to recoup the costs of serving text files on the internet; charging $0.10/page for access to the public domain, and illegally profiting to the tune of $80,000,000/year.
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