Cablegate: Ontario Ag Supports Ipr, Promises to Prosecute If Police
RR RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHON #0120 0752047
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 162047Z MAR 07
FM AMCONSUL TORONTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1901
INFO RUCNCAN/ALCAN COLLECTIVE
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
UNCLAS TORONTO 000120
TAGS: KCRM KIPR PREL PGOV CA
SUBJECT: ONTARIO AG SUPPORTS IPR, PROMISES TO PROSECUTE IF POLICE
Ref: (A) Toronto 45 (B) Toronto 60
Sensitive But Unclassified - protect accordingly.
1. (SBU) On March 15 Consul General and Pol/Econ officer met with
Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant to urge a strengthening of
intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement. Bryant said that he
fully supports prosecuting those who pirate DVDs and CDs and
confirmed he concurs that profits from mass IPR counterfeiting
operations help support organized crime, not just mom and pop shops.
2. (SBU) Bryant acknowledged that resources are an issue, both for
police and prosecutors. He confirmed that civil asset forfeiture is
an option, as far as reimbursing the police for their cost to
investigate counterfeiters, and he noted the province has begun
moving more aggressively on civil forfeiture in drug-related cases.
He acknowledged, however, that the civil forfeiture process was
complex, requiring the police to conduct the investigation first,
then formally seek reimbursement for the expended funds, which must
be budgeted in detail.
3. (SBU) Bryant concurred that outlawing movie camcording would help
to push the point of enforcement back from the point of sale, while
saying that, by and large, Canada's criminal code already is
adequate to address most IPR violations. Bryant said he closely
follows the role of organized crime in IPR violations, and
frequently mentions the issue in his public addresses.
4. (SBU) Bryant told the CG he is interested in participating in
industry and other organizations' efforts to bring IPR issues to the
public eye. He also opined that musicians who encourage free
downloading of music are contributing to public perceptions that IPR
violations are not a serious matter.
5. (SBU) Comment: We will continue our efforts to raise the profile
of IPR enforcement concerns with Ontario provincial and municipal
officials responsible for enforcing and prosecuting IPR violations.
We plan to seek appointments with Toronto area Police Chiefs to
encourage them to strengthen efforts. We will mention to them that
the civil forfeiture process is one way to recoup enforcement costs,
particularly against some of the Toronto area's notorious marketers
of counterfeit goods (described in ref (B)). End Comment.