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Canada Government Piracy Politics Your Rights Online

Why Canada Does Not Belong On the US Piracy Watchlist 123

An anonymous reader writes "Each year, the U.S. government places Canada on its piracy watch list, claiming that it is a pirate country similar to China or Russia. This year, Professor Michael Geist and Public Knowledge teamed up to respond to myths about Canadian copyright law with a submission to the USTR focusing on how Canadian law provides adequate and effective protection, how enforcement is stronger than often claimed, why Canada is not a piracy haven, and why Bill C-11 does not harm the interests of rights holders (critics of Bill C-11 digital lock rules will likely think this is self-evident)."
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Why Canada Does Not Belong On the US Piracy Watchlist

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    The new Majority Conservative government is now bringing in laws to make Canadian laws in like with the U.S.- no need to worry...

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <> on Thursday February 23, 2012 @12:10PM (#39137105) Homepage

      Someone forgetting that it was the liberals who brought us up to bring the law into line in the first place? Besides, I'd have thought that you'd have figured something out. That even with enough outcry the government still listens to the people up here. Otherwise C30 wouldn't be open for discussion being modified, we wouldn't have scrapped the long gun registry. And we sure wouldn't be looking at scrapping S.13 from the HRC(the one that prohibits free speech).

      • Silly title. Of course Canada belongs on a watch list. Any nation that doesn't bow down to the will of Corporate America belongs on the watch lists. If you don't want to be on the watch lists, then get on our knees, and start licking our boots. What's that? You say real men and women don't lick boots? Well - we have a few more watch lists to have you listed to!

      • by ToadProphet ( 1148333 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @01:42PM (#39138287)

        That even with enough outcry the government still listens to the people up here. Otherwise C30 wouldn't be open for discussion being modified, we wouldn't have scrapped the long gun registry. And we sure wouldn't be looking at scrapping S.13 from the HRC(the one that prohibits free speech).

        I believe you mean 'selectively listens to the people up here'. The LGR is a good example - I was vehemently opposed to that massive money pit but polls put support for it at 2/3rds and greater. Scrapping the S.13 was a private members bill put forth by a Liberal. And let's let the dust settle on C30 before declaring victory - the Cons aren't at all the libertarian leaning party many make them out to be.

      • by quacking duck ( 607555 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @02:36PM (#39139037)

        It's fine to blame the Liberals (or the most-recent government of a different party) for laws they passed and screwed up and the current government has to fix, but stop blaming the Liberals for legislation that never passed. If the Conservatives thought it was a bad bill, they wouldn't have resurrected it.

        And FYI, many Liberal supporters fought against those bills when the Liberals introduced them. Why can't Conservative supporters stop blindly supporting bills and laws just because they're backed by Conservatives? Are they that blind that they MUST unwaveringly follow their leader in all things?

        C-30 was backpedaled on not because of massive public outcry, because the Harper Conservatives are used to ignoring that. What they AREN'T used to is a significant number of their base vocally and publicly turning on them. Even Sun News, the far-right news outlet that almost always supports the Conservative agenda, called Toews "an idiot" and said the bill was indefensible ("in its current form").

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          I'm not actually blaming them. I'm pointing out a fact that the liberals brought forth the original legislation, despite their "anti-american" stance. They happily ride the line of hypocrisy until it bites them in the ass. Oddly enough, anyone can promote a bill outside of the rider. Though here's the odd part, there's nothing to say that backroom deals haven't gone on to support the reintroduction from the conservatives for liberal support either. And that has happened before in politics here too.


          • by radtea ( 464814 )

            i.e. acting more like liberals

            What, you mean like balancing the budget? Keeping the GST at the quite sensible level that that outrageous liberal Brian Mulroney set it at? Or retaining the brutal simplicity of Mulroney's tax policies?

            The Cretien Liberals and the Mulroney PCs were not that far apart on many policies, and the Liberals gave us balanced budgets for over a decade by maintaining the key reforms that the Mulroney government introduced: income tax reform, free trade, and the GST.

            The current lot of fiscally irresponsible Big G

        • by http ( 589131 )
          Yes, they are that blind, and they want to be that blind. For a stunning read on why they want to live in fear, check out Robert Altemeyer's "The Authoritarians" (freely available online). It outlines the narrow world view these cretins inhabit and how they interpret any challenge of their leaders as an attack on home, family, and community.
          The bill is indefensible in any form. This has to be the largest Overton Window I've seen hereabouts in the past decade.
    • The nature of Copyright Piracy has changed but the laws haven't.

      Back in them olden day. For a severe copyright infringement it took a good amount of resources. For books you needed a printing press, for music you needed to be able to grind and duplicate records. It needed expensive equipment, and experience labor to really cause a big infringement. And the laws penalties where heavy because the fine needs to big enough to make sure people don't want to go down that path and invest so much in an illegal ac
      • I would have to agree that the punishment needs to be altered to fit the crime, but I think your estimate is way off. A song costs about a dollar, and a movie costs about 5. So for 10000 pirated songs it should be $10,000.00, and for 10000 pirated movies (who pirates that many movies or songs anyways?) it should be $50,000.00.

        This way the companies get the actual price of what was stolen, the pirate pays for exactly what has been downloaded, plus a cent or two per song or movie for the effort the company
  • Ok, so... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by owenferguson ( 521762 ) <> on Thursday February 23, 2012 @10:37AM (#39136191)
    If I send a legit copy of something I have the copyright on to a friend, using the internet, and the ISP records a copy of my traffic at the government's behest, aren't they engaging in piracy?
  • Simple - Politics (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 23, 2012 @10:38AM (#39136211)

    (Posting AC because I'm at work)

    The reason Canada is on the piracy watch list is simple - Canadian politicians want us to be there so they can have a reason to craft draconian laws that appease big media's wishes. Really, it's that simple - it's political manoeuvring in an effort to get the public to support legislation that is "clearly needed" because, you know, we're on the US's piracy watch list so things must be bad in Canada! We need to fix it. Now just accept these laws that allow warrantless searches and other things that are obscene so I can get my phat payoff cash from Big Media Corp.

    Really, it's that simple. And pathetic.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Really, it's that simple. And pathetic.

      Yep. Part of the wikileaks cables specifically confirmed this. People who were working for Harper, but were supposed to be working for Canada, asked the United States to add Canada to that list for just the reason you gave.

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

      We need to fix it. Now just accept these laws that allow warrantless searches and other things that are obscene so I can get my phat payoff cash from Big Media Corp.

      Well, of course. Anyone who says otherwise is clearly supporting child pornographers.

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      If the Copyright MAFIAA had their way, the US would be on the piracy watch list for its failure to pass SOPA & PIPA.

    • by Creepy ( 93888 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @11:53AM (#39136943) Journal

      That doesn't help - because Canadian copyright law does not match US copyright law, Canadians are violating US copyright law with what they call "public domain," and not changing their laws to match ours makes them evil slimy bastards that owe our publishers lots of money. The only recourse is to have all the countries in the world change their copyright law to match US copyright law, and yeah, that just isn't going to happen, nor should it, because that is stepping on each countries sovereign rights. Incidentally, most countries have pretty much the same copyright law as Canada (life + 50 years is the most common, life + 70 years second most common - here is a picture [])

      • The United States hasn't worried about other nations' sovereignty in several decades. Never heard of 'gunboat diplomacy'? Based on its actions, the US should have been placed on a 'rogue nation' list someplace decades ago.
    • by Pope ( 17780 )

      That, and Montreal cinemas were the one of the biggest sources for Cam bootlegs of first run movies for a good number of years. Hell, check out the early torrents of current TV shoes these days, many have the CITY TV logo in the corner, indicating a Canadian source.

    • I agree with you. I wouldn't be surprised if the reason Canada is on the list is not because the copyright laws are inadequate but because the big media industries can't get away with some of the outrageous activities already being performed in the US (and certain other countries) such as suing someone sharing a small number of files for outrageous amounts (e.g. Jammie Thomas). Nor would the infamous "Pay up or else" schemes fly here either. More draconian laws would easily open the doors to all that madnes

  • just playing the blame Canada game

  • Bill C-11 (Score:4, Informative)

    by bigbangnet ( 1108411 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @10:45AM (#39136291)
    Theres a bill in Canada about copyright. It's the C-11 bill []

    it was Bill C-61 first, then it died and was replaced by Bill C-32 which also died. Now its called Bill C-11. Have fun reading this.

    Theres also a website which gives lots of information on that bill : []

  • COMPACT DISC LEVY (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    end of story
    the greedy bastards have stolen 600 million off us and then turn round call us pirates?

    • Why was this modded down? I agree with the parent that all Canadians should pirate rampantly and remorselessly as long as they are paying media levies. Do not buy shit. Pirate it all until the levy is removed.

  • Countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are very vulnerable to pressure from the USA, who's trade representatives use strong arm tactics to further their ends. They think nothing of inventing issues like this to further their goals. The problems begin with corruption of the legislative process [] in the USA, and is exported from there all over the world.
  • by denis-The-menace ( 471988 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @10:57AM (#39136385) []

    A U.S. Embassy cable written in April 2009 describes a meeting between
    Zoe Addington, director of policy for then industry minister Clement, and U.S. officials.

    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.

    NOTE: entire post shamelessly stolen from guidryp []

    • I posted this on here several times. Really the only thing to do is to pick up our illegal guns and stand up. Yes guns, no one will stop buying/consuming commercial media to stop the money flow, so what else is left? Burn down radio/tv/music stores?

      • art and copyright are not worth dying for,
        political dissent is, but only as the last resort option; I do not fell that we are there yet...

  • lolwut? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @10:59AM (#39136399)

    Pfffbbt! Canada! Of course you don't put imaginary lands on watch lists. Canada is an old fairy tell parents tell when they don't want their children to become improv comics or hockey fans.

    • Pfffbbt! Canada! Of course you don't put imaginary lands on watch lists. Canada is an old fairy tell parents tell when they don't want their children to become improv comics or hockey fans.

      What a terrible thing to say; my girlfriend is from Canada!

  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @11:05AM (#39136447) Homepage Journal

    The real issue is that Canada is not doing enough to be included into all lists like that. Canada, as a raw material and energy exporter, needs to allow its currency to be set by the market and it needs to allows all of its copyright and patent laws to be set by the market as well - which means, the legislation around all of these issues need to be repealed. If Canada allows its currency and regulations to go where the market takes them, it will not only be a raw material, energy exporter, but will bring in tons of new investments and businesses into the country.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Hey canada, want to save money operating your government? Switch over to the US dollar as your currency. It worked for the EU and Euro! Look at how happy they are over there!

      • by toriver ( 11308 )

        There are other countries that have switched to the U.S. dollar: stable democracies like... Zimbabwe.

      • The Canadian dollar is, at the moment I'm writing this, worth more than the US dollar.

        We'll keep our different-coloured bills [] and dollar/two-dollar coins, they are far nicer and more convenient to carry around anyway, and they don't smell like unwashed body :-P

      • As a Canadian I would like to avoid using the American Peso, thank you very much.
    • by jeffc128ca ( 449295 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @12:21PM (#39137225)

      " Canada, as a raw material and energy exporter, needs to allow its currency to be set by the market..."

      What the hell are you talking about?!? Canada's currency is a freely floating one and has been for a few decades. It's one of the few countries on the planet that has a completely floating exchange rate. As for natural resources we have a time honored tradition of selling it abroad. The oil sands in Alberta being the latest.

      • First: I am not talking about exchange rate between two fake currencies, I am talking about allowing the market to decide what real money is and what interest rates are (you know, price on money). Second, I said that Canada would invite huge amounts of investments it if started repealing its regulations and stopped the money printing and setting interest rates.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Canadian Private Copying Collective already collects a levy tax on media "as a way of paying for fair use".

    The things everyone, including politicans, seem to forget...

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )
      That levy is for private copying only. It does not in any way, shape, or form, legitimize piracy.
      • by rikkards ( 98006 )

        That levy is for private Music copying only. It does not in any way, shape, or form, legitimize piracy.

        Fixed that for you

        • by Guspaz ( 556486 )

          Legally, it doesn't legitimize piracy. Morally, it does, for most Canadians. You can't attach a private music copying levy to digital cameras and expect people to not feel justified in downloading whatever they want. Otherwise, what are they paying for? Theoretically the fee is for private copying, yes, but most Canadians would not recognize private copying as something that warrants payment, so in their minds, the fee just covers music in general.

          Luckily, the attempt to get a music levy on digital cameras

    • Yes, they do pay that levy. And no, it won't go away when these copyright lawas are passed. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
  • In other words.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @11:25AM (#39136629) Homepage

    Canada is now on the "United States's Bitch List" as you guys do what we tell you.

    Honestly, I cant believe that my country is strong arming everyone on this planet into catering to a few small Organized crime operations.

    • Honestly, I cant believe that my country is strong arming everyone on this planet into catering to a few small Organized crime operations.

      Small?? Man, according to them, they represent almost the entire economy.

      Just think of all of those fictional trillions of dollars they're not bringing in in revenue.

    • Only Canada?

      Every country is by default according to the "Cables"

      Just get the Banks out of Congress and the Whitehouse and lots of this BS goes away.

  • Haven't you heard that we harbour (aka: harbor) lots of terrorists too? Code yellow! Blame Canada! Ooooh, that reminds me, I should download that good old South Park movie tonight... um, through iTunes i mean.

  • by forkfail ( 228161 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @11:53AM (#39136935)

    We must invade Canada!

    • We must invade Canada!

      Good luck to you with that. We have hockey sticks and we know how to use them.
      The last time Americans tried to invade Canada it didn't work out to well for them.

  • Why don't we focus on just getting the US off the US Piracy Watchlist, before worrying about everyone else?
  • I'm a big fan of Michael Geist, but I think he's missed it here.

    He's talking about declining rates of business software piracy and camcording. But both of these areas have avenues of detection and enforcement. Theaters are on the watch for camcorders (and apparently big bags of M&M's hidden in my wife's purse...), and there are many ways businesses are outed for using pirate software (auditors, whistleblowers, etc...) What the US is complaining about are the infringements where enforcement is lax or

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @12:40PM (#39137479) Homepage

      Canada's laws allow Canadians to pirate whatever they like at will with no fear of repercussions.

      No. Canada has some explicit "fair use" exceptions in our copyright legislation. It's still illegal to distribute widely.

      You can't just give away copies of digital things willy nilly, but you can make a rip of a CD your friend loans you. Though, if the current government have their way, breaking any form of 'digital lock' would become a criminal offense, even if it's to exercise your existing rights.

      And, since the media companies insisted on it, we pay a levy on blank recordable media. So, to many of us, they've already secured payment from us. So I don't particularly care if I rip a CD -- though, I generally prefer to buy them so I have a physical copy that I rip. They've got their piracy slush fund, so fuck 'em.

      He points out that "illegal camcording had largely disappeared from the Canadian market", so I'm not sure why you're claiming it's widespread. He's also talking about how Canada has a thriving digital music market place, which means people are buying music here. Hell, I've bought several hundred CDs over the last bunch of years ... but, I know I'm likely the exception.

      And, I wouldn't be so quick to accuse Geist of confusing correlation and causation ... he's a law professor who studies this kind of stuff in depth. He's not some n00b who makes a habit of bad logic.

  • by jeffc128ca ( 449295 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @12:32PM (#39137367)

    Piracy here is definitely a problem as I have many friends constantly encouraging me to get my media it the down and dirty way. I have stubbornly been trying to do it the legit way for a long time now. The latest is in trying to get Dexter season 4 and up. Season 1 to 3 is on Netflix Canada but I will be damned if I can rent seasons 4 and up any where. I solved this by using a VPN proxy to the U.S. and some gift card trickery on Amazon to watch it online. I lied to pay for it instead of pirating it.

    There is a crap load of content we can never get because some rights holder here in Canada won't allow it to be shown at all here. That's why we can't get Pandora or Spotify. I've seen Canadian indy musicians have their stuff available on iTunes U.S. long before it's available in the Canadian store.

    How long do I put up with this before I become a total pirate? Right now I pay a proxy service to pretend like I am American so I can buy the content. I want to pay and be legit but at some point it's just easier to pirate the stuff.

    • And here lies one of the TRUE causes of piracy. Lack of availability! How else are we expected to get these things if they aren't even being sold (or are grossly overpriced). Imports are incredibly expensive.

      This is where the industry needs to fix their business model instead of clamping down with tougher legislation. In the digital age, we no longer have the need to let some "gatekeepers" dictate what we can or cannot experience. To stay competitive, that level of service needs to be matched. Sadly, it mus

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      There is a crap load of content we can never get because some rights holder here in Canada won't allow it to be shown at all here.

      Is this really so? Because if it is, I'd expect the anti piracy pressure to come from these so-called Canadian rights holders.

      The people that are doing all the screaming are the US media distributors. Which is strange, because Netflix got your money for those Dexter streams. You'd think they'd be satisfied. Except that they (or the studio's minions) have set up front corporations to skim a couple of bucks extra from the rest of the world. This may have made sense back when physical distribution to that vas

    • And that's the kicker that none of the "big media conglomerates" seem to get: it's all about convenience!!

      Make it easy for me to give you money for the product I want, in the format I want, at the time I want, on the device I want, and I will give you lots of money!!

      Make it a pain, or even impossible, and I'll just download it from a torrent site.

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Thursday February 23, 2012 @12:33PM (#39137379) Journal

    ... fuck off? What are we going to do? Go to war? Make an embargo against Canada?

    Of course, Canada can be playing the "sure, we'll sort of go along with you" card, while waiting for us to continue fucking up, so it can swoop down and take what it wants.

    But me? If i was Canada, i'd say, Fuck You USA. What are you going to do about it?

    We can bully on 3rd World Countries, We can bully Middle East Countries. Shit, we got Australia as our testing ground. But if countries like England, or Canada stood up and said, You crazy USA and fuck you, we'll do what we want. And if you don't like it, we'll just sell our energy and natural resources else where.

    But Canada is too polite and has no balls, so that will never happen. Really sucks also, because Canada could start changing everything for the better.

    Face it. The USA is a bully and we need someone to stand up to us and put is in our place.

    • Because the social conservatives, conned fiscal conservatives, single issue voters, and gullible people got together and elected a majority Conservative government.

      They're not going to tell the to fuck off because they full-heartedly agree with them on this matter.

      • I think the government is waking up. I also think most Canadians are starting to realize that America is not the wonderful friend nor a force for democracy and liberty like they were in the olden days. Whether you supported the Keystone project or not, the American cancellation of it was pure politics and a signal to Canada that Canadians should not trust America. Perhaps the rejection of Keystone was a good thing in that it has forced the Canadian government to acknowledge the USA is not a reliable trad
    • by radtea ( 464814 )

      But Canada is too polite and has no balls, so that will never happen.

      Actually we've been doing that for quite a while. We just do it politely, and y'all are too stupid to see how tough we are under the polite veneer (hint: watch a hockey game sometime. That'll tell you what we're like when the gloves come off...)

  • Software piracy just across the American border is an FBI no-go, so where do you think stolen web property relaunches after leaving the confines of the U.S.? ...Canada earned it place rightly

    • they relocate in the Kahnawake Mohawk Internet Technologies data-center. Mohawk are subject to theirs own laws as the RCMP, the SQ and the OPP are afraid of them; hell !, even the criminal gangs are threading lightly with them.

  • As far as I'm aware, there are precedent cases in Canada spanning almost 40 years which provision Canadians with the right to make backups of the media they own, and that such format shifting and backup making has been a Canadian right since the late 1970's to early 1980's. At the time, what was dealt with was making cassettes or 8-tracks of LP records for listening to in cars and elsewhere, and to protect the consumer from loss of the recording should the fragile LP become scratched or otherwise damaged.

  • Next time you need to buy military aircraft, keep this in mind and look across the Atlantic for some non-US options. Just sayin'.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong