US puts Canada on piracy watch list yet again!

Remember how, last time around, Conservative Industry Minister Tony Clement convinced the US to put Canada on a piracy watch list despite us being in last place on a list of 46 countries? Given the circumstances of that particular attempt at sabotaging our country’s standings so baselessly, can you understand why I might be skeptical of the motivations behind this news?

In its yearly report on countries that are not doing enough to protect the U.S. copyright industry, Canada is listed on the Priority Watch List with China, Russia, Ukraine and a handful of other countries.

The Special 301 Report reads:

“Canada remains on the Priority Watch List in 2012, subject to review if Canada enacts long-awaited copyright legislation. The Government of Canada has given priority to that legislation. The United States welcomes that prioritization and looks forward to studying the legislation once it is finalized, and will consider, among other things, whether it fully implements the WIPO Internet Treaties, and whether it fully addresses the challenges of piracy over the Internet.”

Other countries are more lucky.

Spain, for example, has been taken off the list after it implemented a harsher copyright law. Last December the US ambassador threatened to put Spain on a trade blacklist if the country failed to pass a SOPA-style site blocking law.

Weeks later the new law passed.

I maintain that the worldwide copyfight is an attempt to maximize short-term profits for the content middleman industry expressly at the expense of individual liberties. Hobbling Canada’s international standing in a cynical game to force us to pass SOPA-like anti-privacy anti-piracy measures is a wholly unsurprising tactic. Pulling the same tactic twice, though requires that we all forget what happened last time around.


  1. Your Name's not Bruce? says

    Saw the headline and thought we were following in the footsteps of Somalia…

  2. MichaelD says

    Well we do have that pirate problem in Saskatchewan could that be it? :P

    No this kind of crap ticks me off gumble grumble….

  3. left0ver1under says

    The American pirates (RIAA, etc.) are “prioritizing” for the same reason the US “prioritized” attacking countries like Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela rather than China and North Korea: proximity, scoring political points, and ease of attacking the country.

    Why go to great expense and difficulty attacking the worst pirates (and worst human rights abusers) when you can easily attack countries where the issue is a minor problem? Especially when the American public and politicians are ignorant enough to believe it?

  4. MatthewL says

    Those people up north seem so nice and all but you know they’re just lulling us into a false sense of complacency so they can sneak down here and steal all our ideas.

  5. Mr.Kosta says

    Well, the Sinde-Wert law (as is known here in Spain) has been passed, but if it’s objective was to prevent people from downloading things (“piracy” as they call it), it has failed. Miserably.

  6. Dianne says

    But…the US hasn’t actually passed a SOPA-like law yet. Shouldn’t the US put itself on the piracy watch list if that’s the criterion for getting on it?

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    SFAICT, Canada is the only nation in the whole world with coastline on three oceans.

    Seems like a great place for pirate-watching!

  8. John Horstman says

    I maintain that the worldwide copyfight is an attempt to maximize short-term profits for the content middleman industry expressly at the expense of individual liberties.

    I agree completely. It’s even more absurd when one considers that art only has value as a cultural commodity – it derives its value from the sharing of it. I understand (though I don’t necessarily agree with) the motivation behind wanting to make money off of making art, but copyright, and especially the way it’s been enacted in recent years, though with a dysfunctional tradition going back decades, serves to do very little in these regards. It DOES protect the ability of ‘rights holders’ to make money from the fact that they hold rights to a particular work, without any added value on the part of those rights holders – it’s the worst kind of capitalism, with information as the capital.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *