This is a week or so old now, but I never got round to mentioning it at the time: the US has added Canada to its list of nations which doesn't look after intellectual property rights.
Yes, the same Canada as the one you're thinking of. The one with the leaf on the flag. Although, to listen to Kira Alvarez, chief negotiator for intellectual property enforcement and Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, you might as well viewa skull and two crossbones as being interchangeable with a maple leaf:
“We really do want them to adhere to their intellectual property obligations.”
You know what the report, Special 301 Report, is? It's a hoot, that's what it is:
Canada has for more than a decade now completely ignored their international treaty obligations, declining to incorporate those IP enforcement commitments into law. USTR cited this and also mentioned “continuing concern about weak border enforcement.”
Border enforcement? Seriously, America? You think that intellectual property can be contained with chain-link fences and a guy with a torch looking through a lorry? It's like thinking the solution to nuclear fall-out is a face mask and a parasol.
Tucked into the responses to the story on the Copyright Alliance Blog is this one:
Rowena Cherry Says:
May 1st, 2009 at 4:00 pm
Hmmm. When I saw “Canada” my blood started to boil.
I am sorry, Neal, I’m simply ready to believe almost any calumny of your countrymen because certain Canadian pharmacy representatives steal my identity in order to try to sell me (and my friends) products to improve the appearance and functioning of parts I do not possess (and do not wish to possess).
That is no doubt unfair, but allegedly Canadian pharmacy salespersons are interfering with my privacy, my peace of mind, and my ability to enjoy peaceful email communications with my friends.
They say they are Canadian. That’s why I believe they are Canadian. When your countrymen spam my desktop, in my home, in whatever country I live in, they ought to be subject to the laws of wherever they are trespassing.
Maybe if Canada could denounce the pharma spam, we’d all be happier.
So all Canadians should obey US law, because some people who claim to be Canadian send spam? That would certainly make life simpler for the United Nations, wouldn't it?