Saturday, May 09, 2009

Blame Canada

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?


Robin Carmody said...

And still people doubt that the US regards itself as an imperial power a propos the more liberal state to the north ...

Rowena Cherry said...

Good morning, Simon HB.

I'm glad to see that you are following the blog.

Thank you for making it clear to your readers that my remarks were a *response* to the copyright alliance blog, and not part of the original post.

However, you quoted my entire response to what Neal said out of context (because you did not include Neal's comment).

Your concluding paragraph appears to misrepresent what I said.

I said nothing about asking all Canadians to follow US law in general or in particular.

Since you appear to live in Milton Keynes (I followed your links to your MySpace and Twitter sites), you probably don't have the same issues with spam. You probably enjoy the NHS.

It's well publicized that some Americans buy pharmaceutical products from Canada because drugs are allegedly cheaper there. (I wouldn't know). I'm not aware of Israeli or Chinese pharmacies offering to supply individual customers by mail order.

I know what your email address is, because you supply a link for that on this blog. I won't use it for the following example.

Suppose, Simon, you promote music from a properly set up and registered website in your own name. Let's call it (I googled, and as far as I can see, you don't have a site named that.)

Suppose people who wish to contact you professionally write to

Suppose you begin to receive "Canadian Pharmacy" spam

Possibly you wouldn't mind sending yourself spam, even if you got 1,000 of them a day.

However, what happens to your music business if other people start to receive "Canadian Pharmacy" spam that appears to be from and they block you, and report you as a spammer?

Then, one or two email services around the world stop delivering your legitimate emails that really are from you? won't help you (even though you paid for the domain name Your ISP won't help you... in fact, it starts sending you warning messages.

Simon, I wasn't aware that the USA is the only country where identity theft is illegal.

Laura Brown said...

Actually, from what I understand, a lot of those "Canadian" medicines (and the spam promoting them) don't come from anywhere near Canada. And don't contain anything closely resembling medicine.

And yes, folks living in Britain get those e-mails, too. Spammers aren't that fussy.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Hi Rowena,

I'm sorry that your life is being plagued by spammers. I'm just a little bemused as to why you'd believe spammers when they say they come from Canada when you know they're forging their email headers? It's the same way that those people who say in emails that they're the widow of the chief executive of a large bank in the Philipines or the surviving son of a family who died in an accident? They're not really telling the truth, either. Normally, the massive lies people in tell spam doesn't just stop with forging the email headers. I suspect they claim to be from Canada because Americans might trust medicine supposedly coming from the North than, say, if they said "this is the best viagra you can get in Lagos" or wherever.

I'm not entirely sure why you'd think that having medical treatment free at the point of delivery would act as a spam filter, though?

RowenaBCherry said...


Thank you for your very kind words. You might be correct. I might have jumped to conclusions.

I wouldn't want to encourage spammers by suggesting that I read their pitches.

As for my baffling remarks about the NHS, if a person gets Niagara (misspelling intended to protect the innocent) for his hydraulics problem on the NHS, he wouldn't be likely to pay privately for it, would he?


bonceracer said...

hey,c'mon folks...we DID apologize for Nickleback already....

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