The United States Trade Representative has once again labeled Canada as a piracy haven.
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.
Critics of the yearly “shame” report note that the Trade Representative is not balanced, and that the report is a pressure tool to further the interests of a few big media companies.
“Once again the U.S. Trade Representative has produced a fact-free report that ignored any point of view except that of big media companies,” says Rashmi Rangnath, director of Public Knowledge’s Global Knowledge Initiative
We are distressed that countries which have yet to pass harsh legislation being pushed around the world remain on the watch lists, while countries which give in to U.S. pressure, such as Spain, are removed when they pass punitive legislation,” he adds.