Not so special 301 report

The yearly joke from the USTR of their so-called "Special 301 report" came out yesterday. Not surprisingly, they kept Canada on their Priority Watch List in order to keep up their special interest lobbying efforts.

Does this mean Canada is a "piracy haven"? Not in the slightest.

It only means that the USTR continues to echo the unfounded lobbying rhetoric from the IIPA which isn't as interested in promoting the rights and interests of creators and innovators as they are protecting their members from legitimate competition.

It speaks of Canada's participation in ACTA, a highly controversial agreement which is neither focussed on counterfeiting or trade. I would be supportive of a trade agreement that was focused against counterfeiting, but ACTA isn't such an agreement.

It speaks of Canada's progress towards enacting "long-awaited copyright legislation" (meaning C-11), and their "threat" that they will "review" whether it conforms to their excessively narrow misinterpretation of what the two 1996 WIPO treaties said.

It speaks of the USA's desire to have Canada provide customs officials with ex officio (read: warrant-less, without any judicial oversight, etc) authority to take action against the
importation, exportation, and transshipment of allegedly infringing goods.

I could go over each of their demands, but each would be bad for Canadian creators, innovators, competition, the Canadian economy, and Canadian citizens in general. Being critiqued as part of the special 301 report should be understood as a badge of honour, and I would far prefer to see Canada become a haven for creativity, innovation and free market competition than see Canada removed from this report.