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Canada Encouraged US To Place It On Piracy List 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the international-cooperation dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Copyright, U.S. lobbying, and the stunning backroom Canadian response gets front page news treatment today in Canada as the Toronto Star covers new revelations on copyright by Michael Geist (who offers a longer post with links to the cables) from the U.S. cables released by WikiLeaks. The cables reveal that former Industry Minister Maxime Bernier raised the possibility of leaking the copyright bill to U.S. officials before it was to be tabled in the House of Commons, former Industry Minister Tony Clement's director of policy Zoe Addington encouraged the U.S. to pressure Canada by elevating it on a piracy watch list, Privy Council Office official Ailish Johnson disclosed the content of ministerial mandate letters, and former RCMP national coordinator for intellectual property crime Andris Zarins advised the U.S. that the government was working on a separate intellectual property enforcement bill."
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Canada Encouraged US To Place It On Piracy List

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  • by assemblerex (1275164) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @10:44AM (#37296114)
    Can't have people getting used to the truth now, can we ?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Can't have people getting used to the truth now, can we ?

      they already know that governments are full of lying sacks of shit. in fact all governments are liars and murderers. yes even yours. quit pretending yours is special because you were born in that country. patriotic rhymes with idiotic for a reason.

      this is what happens when you celebrate hierarchial society and tell people you're either a "leader" or you're a nobody. makes positions of authority irresistable to sociopaths who will say or do anything to get them.

      problem is what to do about it. who

      • by Culture20 (968837)

        patriotic rhymes with idiotic for a reason.

        Because they both end with -iotic.

      • by osu-neko (2604) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @03:05PM (#37297556)

        they already know that governments are full of lying sacks of shit.

        Yes, true, but in many circumstances, it's important to know the specifics.

      • Someone recently did a mash up with the Cookie Monster and Tom Waits [youtube.com] which did the rounds on FB recently which seems to fit the bill.

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        Knowing someone is "generally" a lying sack of shit, and knowing exactly where and when they lied and what were the contents of lies, is the same as artillery knowing where "generally" enemy is vs exact spotting co-ordinates.

        Former is largely pointless for other then "watch out for them". Second is utterly devastating for targeted parties.

    • by roman_mir (125474)

      Obviously, they are a terrorist group. [youtube.com]

    • But but don't you know? PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE!!!

      (ignore... Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING. - I know).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What a mess of adjectives.

    I think it says: one Canuck politician tried to get his way in a Copyright legislation deal by using America as muscle.

    • by haruchai (17472)

      That Canuck politician is their equivalent of the POTUS. Obama only dreams of having the kind of control over the Democrats that Stephen Harper has over their Conservative Party.

      • by drosboro (1046516)

        Except that it wasn't Harper. Maxime Bernier (a Member of Parliament, formerly Minister of Foreign Affairs) comes off looking not so well, as does the bureaucrat Zoe Addington.

        • by haruchai (17472)

          Harper is well known for his tight grip on his Cabinet. It wouldn't be overstating the case to compare him to Roger Ailes.

  • by Yo Grark (465041) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @10:50AM (#37296140)

    I know politics can get evil at time but seriously, WTF?

    That's as close to treason as I can see to the tech industry.

    Media Levies? Fine, thank you for protecting us from RIAA type tatics.

    But then to turn around and sell out the entire COUNTRY to further your agenda? That's plain evil and I wish someone had the gonads to actually put people in jail over this.

    Yo Grark

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well we, as Canadian citizens, can demand that this politician be sanctioned. All it takes is to make a bit of noise so that the right people feel they can't ignore the issue. Write to the media, to your local representatives, spread this story to your friends, on Facebook, and be sure to tell people "We can get the guilty punished, we simply need to act. Let's do it!".

      I'm going to do just what I said above. Will you?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They won the last election. They got a MAJORITY (even if only by a couple thousand votes). They DO. NOT. CARE.

        Look at all the scandals from income trusts to Gazebogate to Kairos and beyond. Look at how they cover up their wrongdoing to hide it from the Auditor General, and nothing happens. Look at how they instruct their political staffers to abuse their offices of government and the political staffers get fired/resigned for the election and sneakily hired back afterwards. Look at the RCMP investigation of

    • by jopsen (885607)

      I know politics can get evil at time but seriously, WTF?

      That's as close to treason as I can see to the tech industry.

      Treason might be a bit harsh, but abuse of office and failure to represent the country's best interest, probably. - I hope we'll see heads rolling over this.

    • That's as close to treason as I can see to the tech industry.

      Why "close"? This is government officials, who have a duty to (and many are even sworn to) serve their country, intentionally placing the interests of a foreign country above theirs where there is a clear conflict of interests. My common sense tells me that this is textbook treason.

  • by iCEBaLM (34905) <icebalm&icebalm,com> on Saturday September 03, 2011 @10:53AM (#37296164)

    For those that don't know, we currently have had pretty far right leaning neo-conservative governments (still not as far right as the US tea party, but pretty bad).

    They have been caught lying to parliament and making illegal backroom deals in the past, yet because the Liberals can't seem to field a leader who isn't a blithering idiot (Dion) or perceived as weak (Ignatief) our left of centre vote gets split between Liberals, NDP and Green (which combined makes up over 50%) and the right of centre vote goes all towards the Conservatives.

    It just goes to show you, that first past the post doesn't work well...

    • by mbone (558574)

      And what about the Constitutional Coup that Harper conducted with the Governor General ?

      In my mind, that is sufficient reason right there for Canada to become a Republic.

      • by tqk (413719) <s.keeling@mail.com> on Saturday September 03, 2011 @11:53AM (#37296464)

        And what about the Constitutional Coup that Harper conducted with the Governor General ?

        In my mind, that is sufficient reason right there for Canada to become a Republic.

        As if that's a cure-all solution. Cf. the USA.

        I think what you really want is a government truly bound by a constitution with which it may not fsck, and barring a very messy and violent revolution, that's a pipe dream.

        • I think what you really want is a government truly bound by a constitution with which it may not fsck

          Canada has the Constitution Act which sets out many limits on both feds and the provinces, and it seems to be adhered to more strictly (and reinterpreted less creatively) than in US.

          For example, did you know that Canadian healthcare system (that many US liberals are quite jealous of) is actually run on provincial level, with voluntary cooperation and coordination via the feds? Furthermore, any province has right to opt out. This is because Constitution Act specifically enumerates healthcare as being under p

        • by tqk (413719)

          To all those who replied to my post, it seems you've (to varying degrees) missed this bit of what I wrote:

          ... a government truly bound by a constitution with which it may not fsck ...

          Trudeau fscked with it when it was "repatriated", the US fscks with theirs in innumerable ways daily via multiple vectors (Congress, USSC, US Trade Reps, ...).

          It ought to be a LAW ON GOV'T that specifies WHAT GOV'T MAY AND MAY NOT DO/GET AWAY WITH. It also should be worked over to death to ensure it's correctly crafted and all duties and responsibilities spelled out first, and it should be difficult a

      • Don't blame Harper because they other leaders never read the Parliamentary rules of order nor thought their little pressure tactic through.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ignatieff may or may not have been able to do things more effectively as leader. But that's not anywhere near the whole story. The Conservatives, thanks to the fundraising efforts they made to collect major political subsidies, are sitting on huge piles of money. They have millions to waste in advertising even before the election. And they do spend millions in advertising before the election. Even Jesus Christ would have had trouble defending himself against all the slander backed by subsidised CPC ads. Th

    • by Xest (935314)

      "It just goes to show you, that first past the post doesn't work well..."

      Yes, it's one of those things you shouldn't have copied from Britain.

      It's so bad that even our most left wing mainstream party is now well right of centre, so that rather than any hope of government that's representative of the people we have nothing but right wing idiocy, there's not even any hope of some rational centrism.

  • by mbone (558574) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @10:57AM (#37296180)

    None of this is any surprise to anyone who has been paying attention.

    To paraphrase Douglas Adams, they are not above being sleazy in the same way that the ocean is not above the sky.

    • It's not, but it is generally required to have some substantial evidence to string someone up, even when everyone around knows that they deserve it. Hopefully this is it.

  • You know ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @11:04AM (#37296204)

    I think this sort of information should be forced to be disclosed legally.

    How are people supposed to know who to blame for the mess of legislation if this sort of thing is done under wraps? I'm sure this guy wouldn't see another term in office if this sort of thing was known earlier.

    I realise doing it in secret was the whole point of it, but these people should be held accountable, they are meant to represent the people, and the people need to know what they're doing.

    • by tqk (413719)

      ... they are meant to represent the people ...

      It's the 21st Century. Your naivete is showing.

  • by decora (1710862) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @11:05AM (#37296210) Journal

    and they typically 'leak' information for political reasons, for power and influence, for purposes of manipulation and propaganda.

    that is why government prosecutions of 'leakers' are the ultimate hypocrisy. government itself is the biggest leaker of all.

  • Piracy schmiracy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Antisyzygy (1495469)
    I don't understand why people allow their governments to continue to crack down on piracy as if its some kind of major problem. Markets will adapt, and to give an example of one look at the gaming industry. Many people now get games through Steam because its convenient. You get it the minute the game comes out, and you get access to a bunch of other features, like automated updates, etc. It is impossible for them to pirate games on these platforms, and many publishers are coming up with similar system. Also
    • and many publishers are coming up with similar system

      But that's a bad thing. Steam itself isn't too bad, but it's still prohibits resale without lowering prices and causes a lot of other irritation.

      The appropriate reaction to multiple publishers all trying to make their own Steam-type platform is disgust and terror. More proprietary bullshit, more integrated systems to figure out when one (Steam) was enough from the consumer perspective (and that's ignoring those who hate Steam already), and more opportunities for situations like Sony's nightmarish mismana

      • Steam does lower prices significantly, frequently, and early-on, though. Further, the trade is not one-sided; you get some utility in exchange for the freedom you lose - the ability to re-download your entire game library for as long as steam continues to exist. And this includes downloading versions for OSs other than the one you originally bought it for, if those versions exist.

      • Resale is not usually something most people do unless they are console gamers, and consoles have their own built in DRM. While I agree with the principal of being able to resale, the software industry as well as the government has basically frowned upon this practice for over a decade unless you are operating a console system. The appropriate reaction for one person is not the same as what you deem appropriate, because opinions differ.

        Sony is a giant piece of shit, and this has been proven when people boyco

        • Let me correct myself and say I purchased a Ps2 about a year or so after it came out. That was a good console, and an example of when Sony was actually worth a shit.
  • Obviously (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 03, 2011 @11:25AM (#37296310)

    Piracy is legally sanctioned in Canada by the surcharge added to the price of digital media to compensate for its use in making unauthorized copies of copyrighted materials. If you're NOT pirating media in Canada, you're not getting all of what you've paid for.

    • Strictly speaking, this only applies to CD-Rs, because the original late 90s legislation was passed in response to the music industry's demands. A few years later, hard drives and anything with them got a levy too, but they were dropped a few years ago. An opposition party member tried reintroducing the hard drive levy idea last year, but was shot down.

      AFAIK, recordable DVDs do not and have never had a levy.

  • by Superken7 (893292) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @11:28AM (#37296330) Journal

    The head of Spain's RIAA has been found to have encouraged Spain to be included in the "Special 301" list, as well.

    This is especially irritating, since it is that same organization who has used "Special 301" as an argument to pressure the government into modifying our laws to combat webs which offered links to warez. It is worth pointing out that those same webs have been found to be completely legal for years, since they don't actually host the copyrighted material.

    It is just amazing that a country will bow and modify its laws just because it was included in a "piracy list". Especially if what they intend to change is rather ineffective and too vague. Any web which links to material without the original author's permission can be blocked, which will probably result in 1. no less piracy and 2. abuse of this new law by others.

    I don't understand why they would block the webs that link and do not host the material, instead of blocking those that do host the material.
    Well, actually I do. It is, of course, because P2P links would be impossible to block (users would need to be blocked) without resorting to a HADOPI-style law - which they don't like because it is considered too impopular.

    • This is especially irritating, since it is that same organization who has used "Special 301" as an argument to pressure the government into modifying our laws

      Of course, that's the whole point. That's exactly what they did in Canada, as well.

    • My country has been in the Priority 301 for a couple of years, and the fact that remains there means our government is not willing to bend and prosecute their own people to satisfy foreign interests.

      The main reason is US pharmaceutical patents which we do not enforce. People's lives are above US corporations, period. And they can all leave for all we care; there is still a whole world willing to trade with us and many do so without "IP" restrictions (technology transfer) in many countries who "coincidently"

  • ...what the hell all this stuff was doing in US diplomatic cables? A lot of it sounds like ordinary internal discussion that occurs while forming policy, but why was the US embassy in on it? Makes Canada look like the US puppet that the Bolsheviks always said it was.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, this is Canada carefully manipulating the USA, we just want it to look like we're the victim. The overall plan is to implement Canadian currency as the Common North American currency.
      -eyeballs Mexico-

  • by rbrander (73222) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @11:50AM (#37296452) Homepage

    This would have happened whether a "Conservative, right-wing" government was in or the Liberals. To understand, you need to read a 2008 story from the same watchdog, Michael Geist (to whom all Canada should be deeply indebted for tracking these issues for years):

    http://www.thestar.com/sciencetech/article/443867 [thestar.com]

    The key phrase in the story is "Canadian officials arrived ready to talk about a series of economic concerns but were quickly rebuffed by their U.S. counterparts, who indicated that progress on other issues would depend upon action on the copyright file."

    Americans are sometimes surprised to learn (Condi Rice was one, which was disappointing from a foreign-affairs scholar) that Canada is the US' largest trading partner, more bilateral trade than with your #2 (China) and your #4 (UK) combined, nearly as much as China+Japan (#3). So imagine how large a trading partner the US is for Canada - 80% of the total, last time I checked, that is, 4X as much trade as with all other partners combined.

    When the US really wants to lean on Canada at trade discussions, their only difficulty is choosing which levers to pull: making trouble over standard inspections of meat and grains? Lumber? Re-investigating whether Canada subsidizes iron ore, holding up imports while doing so?

    So you can find some profoundly anti-Canadian stances being taken by Canadian trade officials - until you see the larger picture and find they were arranging to charge all Canadians an extra $100/year for media content ($3 billion from 30 million people) to smooth the path for $6B in exports - of the $76B total, they only have to pick less than 10% to threaten.

    • by guidryp (702488) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @01:13PM (#37296876)

      It had everything to do with the ends justify the means right wing politics of Harper.

      Read the OP:

      “In contrast to the messages from other Canadian officials, she said that if Canada is elevated to the Special 301 Priority Watch List (PWL), it would not hamper — and might even help — the (government of Canada's) ability to enact copyright legislation,” the cable says.

      Days later, Canada was elevated on the piracy watch list.

      Harper has been copying the republican play book throughout his term in politics. Manufacture a crisis that needs the response he wants anyway.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Harper has been copying the republican play book throughout his term in politics. Manufacture a crisis that needs the response he wants anyway.

        Um, no. That's been the _LEFT-WING_ play book for the last century or more.

      • by Phrogman (80473)

        I am deeply ashamed that my country could elect a dishonest shyster like Harper. There are few limits on what the Conservatives will do to maintain their agenda and hang on to power. Sadly a huge demographic here in Canada is blind to their abuses of the Canadian people and keeps voting for them.

        I don't think you can be a Conservative and also be a moral person. Harper is living proof.

    • by tomhudson (43916)
      except that a LOT of those exports, the US cannot threaten without hurting itself.

      Petroleum products - Canada still is the #1 supplier to the US. What's the US going to do - ban Canadian oil? That's the equivalent of a permanent Hurricane Katrina shortfall, and there's nobody to take up the slack. $300/bbl oil if the US does that.

      Auto parts - sure, if you want to shut down all US auto manufacturing.

      And don't forget, the US then not only cripples itself, but also it's biggest export market. Canadian

  • Why is anyone paying any attention to this piracy list? Surely nobody's suggesting that the piracy level in Canada and Spain is anything like that in China or South Africa. Everyone realises that it's just there as a stick to try to bully these countries into capitulating to American demands.

    But it's so obvious. Any politician who's remotely against American "cultural imperialism" is going to see it for what it is and actively work against the measures urged by the US. Surely the watch list does as muc
    • by tqk (413719)

      Why is anyone paying any attention to this piracy list?

      That is the question. Wasn't it the US' GAO that admitted it was worthless, considering it was made up solely of numbers provided by the *AAs?

      There are much more subtle ways to get his message across.

      I think they've come to the conclusion that the US House of Reps & Senate are so bought off now, subtlety's no longer necessary. Think about it: who even cares about this issue other than pirates, patriots, bought off legislators, and the *AAs? The rest of the population, considering their buying habits, clearly don't give a flying fsck about any of this, if th

    • by msobkow (48369)

      I wouldn't count on that. Downloading is rampant in Canada, because our government signed off on a surcharge for blank CDs that assumed everyone was using them to burn pirated music. As a result, downloading music is LEGAL in Canada -- we've paid for the privelege as a society.

      Needless to say, the *AA are not happy about shooting themselves in the foot by pushing for that surcharge. They were just after the money, and didn't think about it's legal implications.

  • Damn near every single Congressman gets a donation from the entertainment industry, usually in the 5 to 6 digit range. They like to say that campaign donations don't affect the legislative process, but it's very clear that they're firmly in the pockets of the industry. And they're obviously happy to throw their weight around and bully the rest of the world into passing laws to help their buddies.
  • If this is new information, I assume it stems from the recent full release of all documents.

    So now you have to ask - just WHY was this redacted in the original set? This seems exactly like the kind of thing wikileaks is there to air. So why did they decide to hold this item back?

    This is just further evidence that a third party has no businesses redacting anything. Any leaks group should act only as a conduit, not as a arbitrator who decides what stays secret.

    • by nstlgc (945418)
      If this is new information, I assume it stems from the recent full release of all documents.
      This is just further evidence that a third party has no businesses redacting anything. Any leaks group should act only as a conduit, not as a arbitrator who decides what stays secret.
      Making an assumption and claiming it as evidence. Really?
  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @03:41PM (#37297788)
    Contact your Member of Parliament. Express your thoughts. They need to know we won't tolerate this.

    http://www.parl.gc.ca/MembersOfParliament/MainMPsCompleteList.aspx [parl.gc.ca]

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