ACTA & Copyright Reform in Canada

Courtesy of AppleWhat does an international treaty have to do with ripping songs to your iPod?  You may not have heard much about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), but this international treaty may have significant impacts on the domestic copyright reform process in Canada. ACTA is an international round of trade negotiations that addresses counterfeiting, which in turn deals directly with copyright infringement. The draft text of the agreement was released last week. 

Copyright infringement – what it means, when it occurs, who is responsible, and what penalties should be levied – is central to the anticipated reform of Canada’s Copyright Act.  The government has again hinted that it will introduce a copyright reform bill  in this session of Parliament.  The related debate about iPod levies should also be addressed in the reform process.   

There is little doubt that ACTA will play an important role in influencing domestic copyright policy. In this environment of international pressures, intense lobbying, proposed levies, and heightened public awareness of copyright issues, the government will have a hard time pleasing everyone as it navigates this intellectual property minefield.  Even if proposed legislation is introduced this spring, the bill will die if there is a fall election. 

Federal elections? That’s one little detail that ACTA need not worry about, and the treaty is expected to be finalized by the end of 2010.

Calgary – 08:00 MST

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