Industrialized Nations To Negotiate Anti-Counterfeiting (and "Piracy") Trade Pact

William New of IP-Watch writes about a pact discussed yesterday in Question Period (Video, Hansard). Please read articles from Howard Knopf and Michael Geist, a press release from Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and an information page on the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website.

The United States is so far joined by Canada, the 27-member state European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and Switzerland. Participants will expand upon a vision developed within the past year for a new agreement addressing three main areas: cooperation, best practices and a strong legal framework for IPR enforcement.

If this pact was about increased cooperation, best practises and enforcement for Counterfeiting then I would not be concerned. However, certain extreme special interests groups have managed to lump counterfeiting, patent and copyright issues together as if they were all the same, when the issues are entirely different.

Here is a copy of what was said in Question Period:

Mr. Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, counterfeiting and piracy pose an ever-increasing threat to the growth of the knowledge economy and affect consumers and business in Canada and abroad.

Could the Minister of International Trade say what the government is doing in the fight against piracy and counterfeiting on the international stage?

Hon. David Emerson (Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, I am getting a lot of business today and I would like to thank the hon. member for Peterborough for his question. He is quite right. Intellectual property theft is a particularly pernicious form of piracy. It hurts creators and innovators. It puts consumers in danger and it supports organized crime.

I am, therefore, pleased to announce today that Canada, along with Japan, the United States, the European Union and Switzerland are entering into negotiations to develop an anti-counterfeiting trade agreement that will be a model of intellectual property protection for the world.

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