The following is a letter I wrote to my MP:
I know Canadians love Obama, and I have to admit that I fell for this great speaker as well, but his decision to include Canada on the priority watch list in USTR's Special 301 shows how little he knows about this key legal and economic issue facing the global economy.
Why do I blame Obama? Well, his choices for people in his administration are the only change. The extremist lobbiests in the US have been pushing to have Canada on this list for years, and the Bush administration rejected their requests. The reasons given for putting Canada on this list are embarrassing given they are either false, or are instances where the US is more guilty of the alleged "offence" than Canada is. The reality is that Canadian copyright law is already more tilted in favour of existing copyright holders than US law is, and listening to the demands of these old-economy lobbiests will only make things worse for Canadian innovators.
This is an administration that claimed to want to make fact-based and science-based decisions, something they are clearly not doing in this
case. Any unbiased analysis of Canadian law and enforcement, and comparing with US law and enforcement, would clarify the reality.
I know the Liberals are finishing up their convention and doing some thinking about policy. My hope is that the Liberals will not take what the Obama administration is saying and take it as if it were true. Rather than being an embarrassment for Canada, this Special 301 report really is an embarrassment for the Obama administration.
Please share this letter with any of your colleges in parliament. Questions around the shape of the new economy are critical, with policy like patent, copyright, trademark and related laws being the foundation of what can potentially be new about this new economy.