The EU Copyright Directive was voted through the Parliament because a handful of MEPs accidentally pushed the wrong button; this week, it passed through the Council -- representing the national governments of the EU -- and as it did, the German government admitted what opponents had said all along: even though the Directive doesn't mention copyright filters for all human expression (photos, videos, text messages, code, Minecraft skins, etc etc), these filters are inevitable.
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Last week's catastrophic EU vote to censor and surveil the whole internet to catch copyright infringers isn't a local affair; the same corporations who were willing to sacrifice the internet to eke out a few percentage point gains in licensing revenue are busily at work in Canada, where a rewrite of copyright laws is underway.
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CETA -- the "Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement" is a secretly negotiated deal between Canada and the EU, mirroring many of the most controversial provisions in notorious deals like ACTA, TPP, and TTIP -- including the "corporate sovereignty" clauses that permit multinational corporations to sue governments in closed courts, and force them to repeal environmental, labour and safety rules (albeit dressed up in new clothes that make the provisions appear different, without making any real difference). Read the rest
CETA is a Canada/EU "free trade agreement," negotiated in secret and containing the notorious "Investor-State Dispute Settlement" (ISDS) clause, which lets corporations sue governments in confidential tribunals in order to force them to repeal their environmental, safety and labour laws. Read the rest
Michael Geist sez, "The Canadian Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology released its report on the Intellectual Property Regime in Canada yesterday. While most the recommendations are fairly innocuous, the report involves a classic case of policy laundering as the government has fabricated support for the Canada - EU Trade Agreement and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) provisions that were not even raised at committee. The report recommends ratifying four intellectual
property treaties, despite the fact the treaties weren't discussed before committee.
"Why? Leaked versions of CETA and TPP both include requirements to ratify them.
Should Canada reach agreement on CETA or the TPP, the committee report will presumably be used by the government to short-circuit further review on those treaties or to simply claim support for ratification on the basis on a committee recommendation that was secretly fabricated behind closed doors without any witness raising the issue during the public hearings."
Industry Committee Report on Intellectual Property: A Case of Policy Laundering for CETA and TPP Read the rest
Michael Geist sez,
Last week's revelations that the Canada - EU Trade Agreement's intellectual property chapter draws heavily from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement sparked widespread media coverage across Europe. After initially refusing to comment, the European Commission, clearly sensing the growing public pressure, provided a response in which it claimed that the leaked February 2012 text was outdated and that the Internet provider provisions in CETA (which had mirrored ACTA) had been changed.
The European Commission statement not only confirms some changes in CETA, but suggests that the final version will look like the EU - South Korea Free Trade Agreement. This disclosure raises its own set of concerns for both Europeans and Canadians. This posts outlines six major areas of concern given the current uncertainty with CETA, its linkages to ACTA, and the influence of the EU - South Korea FTA.
1. Canada Is Reluctant to Agree to the EU - South Korea FTA Model
2. The EU - South Korea FTA Is More Problematic Than ACTA In Some Areas
3. The EU - South Korea FTA Internet Provider Provisions Are Problematic
4. The ACTA Internet Provider Provisions Are Only Part of the Internet Chapter Problem
5. The ACTA Internet Chapter Is Only Part of the ACTA Problem
6. ACTA, CETA and the EU - South Korea FTA All Share a Common Trait: Lack of Transparency
Why the European Commission's Assurances on ACTA & CETA Don't Add Up Read the rest