Search

 

Cablegate: Prime Minister Harper's Letter On Ipr

VZCZCXRO8566
PP RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #0765/01 1162051
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 262051Z APR 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5500
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 000765

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PASS USTR FOR SULLIVAN, MELLE, AND GARDE
STATE FOR WHA/CAN AND EEB/TPP/MTA/IPC BOGER AND WALLACE
COMMERCE FOR GERI WORD AND SEBASTIAN WRIGHT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KIPR CA
SUBJECT: PRIME MINISTER HARPER'S LETTER ON IPR

1. (SBU) On April 26, Ambassador Wilkins received a letter
from Prime Minister Harper regarding U.S. concerns about the
protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in Canada.
This letter, dated April 23, responds to a letter that the
Ambassador wrote to the Prime Minister on January 31
regarding USG concerns on IPR. This exchange is not public;
agencies should not reveal the content or existance of these
letters.

2. (SBU) Comment: The Prime Minister offers no new
information or policy initiatives in his letter which was
delivered two business days before USTR formally announces
the 2007 Special 301 report. Additionally, the Prime
Minister appears to link progress on IPR initiatives under
the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) to initiatives
on regulatory cooperation - a major Canadian concern. Given
the timing of the letter, the lack of progress on IPR issues,
and the attempt to link IPR to an unrelated Canadian concern
we view this as an attempt to justify their inactivity rather
than make the changes which more and more Canadians are
realizing are needed. End Comment.

3. The full text of the Prime Minster's letter of April 23 to
Ambassador Wilkins follows:

Excellency:

Thank you for your recent letter which raised several
important issues related to intellectual property rights.
First, I would like to extend my appreciation for your
dedication to ensuring a strong relationship between our two
countries, one based on mutual respect and a long and deep
history of cooperation.

With respect to intellectual property rights, I can assure
you that the Government of Canada takes the concerns you have
raised in your letter very seriously. Work is underway to
bring Canada's copyright regime into conformity with the
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet
Treaties. This work forms part of our efforts to ensure the
effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property
rights in Canada in a digital age, to provide intellectual
property protections to both our domestic and trading
partners' industries, and to ensure investment, growth and
innovation.

The Minister of Industry and the Minister of Canadian
Heritage are planning to move forward with proposals for
important changes to Canada's copyright regime in the coming
months that would provide for the implementation of the WIPO
Internet Treaties in our domestic legislation.

Regarding the concerns you have raised about video piracy,
remedies do exist for copyright infringement for the purposes
of commercial distribution in our current laws. Canada
possesses stiff penalties in the Copyright Act in order to
deter and prevent the commercial distribution of copyrighted
material. In addition, good cooperation exists between our
law enforcement officials and industry associations concerned
with video piracy. For example, the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police is currently working with the Canadian Motion Picture
Distributors Association (CMPDA) to improve enforcement in
this area.

I take note of the fact that your letter points to concerns
about the enforcement of these laws. The Government of
Canada is reviewing the enforcement of intellectual property
rights, and options to strengthen this regime, in order to
combat video piracy and the trade in counterfeit and pirated
goods.

Our governments are working closely together on initiatives
QOur governments are working closely together on initiatives
under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North
America (SPP), including on intellectual property. We have
seen some progress on intellectual property initiatives under
this umbrella, and I would like to take this opportunity to
raise the importance of greater regulatory cooperation, an
issue of importance to Canada under the SPP including a
robust Regulatory Cooperation Framework. Enhanced
cooperation between Canadian and United States regulators at
an early stage of the regulatory process is essential to
minimizing trade barriers and increasing the competitiveness
of businesses on both sides of the border.

I look forward to ongoing engagement on these trade-related
issues, and to progress on joint initiatives, so as to
continue to build upon our successes to date.

OTTAWA 00000765 002 OF 002

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Harper


4. (SBU) The full text of the Ambassador's letter of January
31 to Prime Minister Harper follows:

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I want to thank you for your constant and successful efforts
to improve the strong and productive relationship between our
two countries. Over the past year, we have enjoyed notable
progress in a number of areas -- including settlement of the
softwood lumber issue -- due to your efforts.

One important trade-related issue, however, continues to draw
our attention and concern: intellectual property rights.
Securing effective and adequate protection of intellectual
property rights in Canada has become the U.S. Government's
top priority in our bilateral economic agenda. The U.S. and
Canadian motion picture, sound recording, and computer
software industries share our goal. The Royal Canadian
Mounted Police estimates that intellectual property crime
costs the Canadian economy between $10 billion and $30
billion annually.

I greatly appreciate the commitment of Industry Minister
Maxime Bernier and Canadian Heritage Minister Beverley Oda to
improve Canada's protection of intellectual property rights.
I understand that they are working on copyright legislation
that will, inter alia, ratify and implement the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) "Internet
Treaties," which Canada signed in 1997. I urge your
Government to introduce the copyright legislation into
Parliament with all due speed, ideally before the end of
February. The United States would be pleased to see the
legislation include a prohibition against the manufacture and
trafficking of circumvention devices and a "notice and
takedown" model with respect to Internet Service Provider
(ISP) liability.

The United States is committed to supporting Canada,s
efforts to create an intellectual property rights framework
that promotes a high standard of protection, that encourages
innovation, and that spurs economic growth in Canada. The
U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab wrote to Minister
Bernier last year on this issue and earlier this month raised
intellectual property rights with Ambassador Wilson in
Washington. To underscore our concerns, I met with -- and
wrote to -- Minister Bernier and plan to meet Minister Oda on
February 1. I am pleased to note that public awareness of
intellectual property rights concerns is growing in Canada.
There has been increased media attention recently, including
a January 13 Globe and Mail article entitled "Pirates of the
Canadians," which reported on the link between worldwide DVD
piracy and camcording in Montreal movie theaters. A similar
article appeared in the January 30 Toronto Sun.

As always, the Embassy staff and the United States Government
stand ready to assist the Government of Canada in this
important endeavor.

Sincerely,
David H. Wilkins
Ambassador

Visit Canada's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/ottawa

WILKINS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Deal On Paris Implementation: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>

ALSO:

New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC