Canada's rock-ribbed bastion of pro-trade, pro-Tory ideology has come out against the Trans Pacific Partnership's Intellectual Property chapter in a leading editorial signed by the paper's editorial board.
The paper calls out the government for caving to the US entertainment industry on copyright issues, particularly copyright terms, saying that they have no place in trade agreements, that their extension will not provide benefit to Canadians, and will cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars.
They also express dismay that TPP will require Canada to follow America into the DMCA's "notice and takedown" regime, which lets anyone censor anything off the Internet just by claiming a copyright violation, with near-total impunity for lying or sloppiness.
Canadians are rightly concerned about other elements of TPP, especially the impact on auto-industry jobs and on the regulation of milk (Canada has banned the practice of using bovine growth hormone, which is cruel to cows and makes milk unhealthy and TPP will require Canada to accept US milk imports with BGH). As It Happens featured an excellent segment about the BGH issue yesterday.
It's refreshing to see the Internet/copyright issues rising to the fore in the Canadian debate, though. TPP really has its origins in ACTA, which, in turn, was created because bad Internet treaty-making at the UN had ground to a halt thanks to the activists that the UN rules permitted into the room. TPP and its related agreements (like the EU-US TTIP) are inextricably bound up with copyright and Internet regulation.
The new Liberal government had endorsed TPP in principle but vowed to renegotiate parts of it before signing it, which they'll never be able to do. The negotiations are concluded, the text is finalised, and the other 11 countries in TPP will not re-open the negotiations at the whim of Justin Trudeau. It's a take it or leave it deal, and if the Liberals don't like it, they need to lump it.
Copyright concessions may be downside of TPP deal [The Globe and Mail]
(Image: TPP rally. Ottawa, Canada, June 10 2014, Sum of Us, CC-BY)