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Cablegate: Ottawa Outlines Intellectual Property Strategy

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHOT #1955 2952003
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 222003Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6751
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS OTTAWA 001955

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAN AND EEB/TPP/MTA/IPC WALLACE AND BOGER
STATE PLEASE PASS USTR FOR GARDE, SULLIVAN, AND MELLE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KIPR
SUBJECT: OTTAWA OUTLINES INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY STRATEGY

REF: OTTAWA 1076

1. (SBU) Summary: On October 17, the Government of Canada
announced a three-step strategy to strengthen the protection
of intellectual property rights (IPR). While short on
details and timelines, the strategy addresses several USG's
concerns, including conforming Canadian law with the WIPO
Internet Treaties, increasing IPR enforcement and awareness,
and the already enacted ban on illicit recording in movie
theaters. The GOC announcement -- which follows a strong IPR
statement in the government's October 16 "Speech from the
Throne" -- is the latest sign that Ottawa is moving to
bolster IPR protection in Canada. End Summary.

IPR Strategy
---------------

2. (SBU) Canada's Governor General stated in the Harper
government's "Speech from the Throne" to Parliament on
October 16 that the GOC "will improve the protection of
cultural and intellectual property rights in Canada,
including copyright reform." On October 17 -- in a written
response to a June 20 Parliamentary Committee report
("Counterfeiting and Piracy are Theft") -- the Ministers of
Public Safety, Industry, International Trade, and Justice
outlined how improved IPR protection will be pursued. The
strategy has three aspects, including criminalizing illicit
camcording in movie theaters, which was completed in June
(reftel). Another aspect involves increasing IPR enforcement
and raising awareness of the dangers of IPR crimes. Step
three is to bring Canada's copyright regime into conformity
with the WIPO Internet Treaties. The Ambassador and other
Embassy officials over the last several months have urged
senior Canadian officials, including Prime Minister Harper,
to strengthen IPR legislation and enforcement.

Enforcement and Awareness
----------------------------------

3. (SBU) The GOC has tasked the Minister of Public Safety to
work with the Industry Minister -- in consultation with the
Ministers of Canadian Heritage, International Trade, and
Justice -- "to develop options to strengthen and modernize
Canada,s enforcement regime." The Royal Canadian Mounted
Police (RCMP) is charged with increasing public awareness of
IPR crime, and has already disseminated a poster series of
posters about the dangers of IPR crime relating to job loss,
injury, and organized crime. The GOC gives no timeline for
compiling enforcement recommendations, but the Ministers
should be able to draw on the work of a lower level Canadian
interagency task force that has been examining these issues
since the end of 2004.

WIPO
-------

4. (SBU) The third step in the GOC,s IPR strategy is
"bringing Canada's copyright regime into conformity with the
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet
Treaties." (Comment: Noted IPR commentator Michael Geist
from the University of Ottawa makes a point to say that the
government refers to "conformity with" and not "ratification
of" the WIPO Internet Treaties. End comment) The GOC has
called on all parties in Parliament to support the
government,s efforts in this area. Embassy contacts in the
Privy Council, Prime Minister's Office, Industry Canada, and
the private sector report that the GOC plans to introduce
major copyright legislation no later than November. One
well-connected industry executive told EMIN that seven
longstanding internal disputes have now been resolved --
mostly in favor of greater IPR protection and Industry
Minister Prentice last week reaffirmed to EMIN that IPR
QMinister Prentice last week reaffirmed to EMIN that IPR
reform remains "my top priority." An RCMP official told
Econoff that although some Industry Canada bureaucrats oppose
strengthening certain areas of IPR protection, they are no
longer able to hold up the legislative process.

Visit our shared North American Partnership blog (Canada & Mexico) at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap

WILKINS

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