Canadians Three Times More Likely Than Americans To Buy Counterfeit Goods?

A press release by The Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (CACN) reports about a POLLARA survey. While the press release could just as easily have alleged that Canadians are three times more likely than Americans to be honest on surveys, there is still something interesting to discuss.

Notice the use of the words "downloading" and "piracy" in a press release about a study that likely didn't ask questions about these issues, especially considering these lobbiests try to confuse people into believing that non-commercial sharing of digital media is equivalent to for-profit infringement (IE: "piracy"). The valid solutions to each of these very different problems are very different. There has been quite a bit of recent lobbying activity about issues such as counterfeiting, camcordering movies in theaters, and even declines in the manufacturing sector that lobbiests have tried to link to 1996 WIPO treaty ratification.

The problem is: that these copyright related WIPO treaties have absolutely nothing to do with these issues. This is yet another example when people are confusing very different areas of law, such as patents, copyright, trademarks and trade secrets, and confusing observed problems with entirely unrelated "solutions".

There are people like myself that oppose these 1996 Copyright treaties because we believe in protecting the property and privacy rights of ICT owners, and the creative and communications rights of all Canadians. On the other hand, I don't have a problem with enhancing laws that deal with commercial counterfeiting or camcordering which are entirely unrelated.

Politicians are generalists, and given all the issues they are bombarded with every day do not have the time to have thought through these issues to recognize that these other issues are unrelated to 1996 WIPO treaty ratification. A summary of that treaty is thus: if new communications technology can be abused to infringe copyright, then the solution is to revoke control of these technologies from non-professionals. It is our job as citizens to ensure that politicians are informed of these issues, as otherwise the only message they are receiving is the misinformation from the well paid special interest lobbiests.

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what is counterfeit?

Some say that if you buy "grey-market" goods, that they
are counterfeit. That is, if you buy NIKE brand shoes
on (US branch), and have them shipped to Canada, that they aren't proper brand shoes, and so, they are counterfeit.

Canadians have long been faced with this problem by our
"distributors" --- they refuse to import the goods that we
want, so we have to go to a larger distributor in the US and order things directly.

(In many cases, the goods come from the same overseas factory. The last time I had this problem, the overseas factory was in the UK, and it made frames for glasses...)