Federal Industry Committee's Call For Action On Counterfeiting and Piracy Welcomed By Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network



    CACN urges government to move quickly on committee recommendation

    OTTAWA, Feb. 6 /CNW/ - The Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (CACN), a
non-profit coalition united in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy,
today backed a federal Industry Committee report calling for government action
on copyright reform, counterfeiting and piracy, and congratulated the
committee for bringing the issue to light.
    The all-party committee's recommendation on intellectual property (IP)
crime, which is part of a report tabled in Parliament today, singles out the
growing problem of counterfeiting and piracy that, according to RCMP
estimates, is responsible for billions of dollars in losses to the Canadian
economy. IP crime has also been explicitly linked to organized crime and
raises significant consumer health and safety concerns.
    "Federal government action against counterfeiting and piracy is long
overdue," says Doug Geralde, chair, CACN and director at CSA (Canadian
Standards Association) International. "Most Canadians have no idea how severe
this problem is. Few businesses or individuals are immune from the
proliferation of dangerous products like fake auto parts and fake electrical
cords, and knockoff consumer goods like fake music DVDs and branded apparel."
    Canada's failure to address the flood of counterfeit products and
Internet piracy has garnered censure not only from international
non-governmental bodies, but also from key trading partners including the
United States, where last year the U.S. Trade Representative placed Canada on
the Special 301 Watch List for the twelfth consecutive year.
    As a follow-up step to today's report, the CACN is urging the Industry
Committee to hold several days of special hearings on counterfeiting and
piracy, and to issue specific recommendations on how the government can curb
the problem. Those steps could include:

    
    -   Boosting police and prosecutorial resources dedicated to
        counterfeiting.

    -   Imposing tougher criminal penalties and introducing updated trade-
        mark offences.

    -   Strengthening civil remedies that target counterfeiting.

    -   Providing Customs officers with the tools required to stop imports of
        counterfeit products at the border, including authorization to
        target, detain, seize and destroy counterfeit goods.
    

    On the need for stronger criminal sanctions, the RCMP noted in a 2000
report, "Counterfeiters have stated to police they will continue to sell
counterfeit goods because the deterrents offer no incentive to stop....
Minimal sentences and low fines offer little incentive for law enforcement to
pursue this issue more vigorously, and every incentive for criminals to
continue pirating copyrighted goods."
    In addition, there is growing recognition that protection of intellectual
property is linked to innovation, economic prosperity and competitiveness.
    "By implementing straightforward reforms, the government can signal to
Canadians and the global community that it is serious about curing Canada's
epidemic of counterfeit and pirated goods," says Carol Osmond, vice chair,
CACN and senior policy advisor to I.E.Canada, the Canadian Association of
Importers and Exporters. "In addition to putting the brakes on organized
crime, such measures will support Canadian innovation, prosperity and job
creation by improving marketplace integrity."

    About CACN

    The Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (CACN) is a non-profit coalition
of stakeholders that have united in the fight against product counterfeiting
and copyright piracy in Canada and internationally. Members include
broad-based organizations and companies from a range of industries as well as
law firms representing intellectual property rights holders. CACN's mission is
to significantly reduce and ultimately eliminate the manufacture, importation,
distribution and sale of counterfeit products in Canada and abroad through
public education, training of law enforcement, and lobbying for legislative
change and increased resources. CACN can be found online at www.cacn.ca





For further information:

For further information: Don Hogarth, Hogarth Communications, (416)
565-8920, don@hogarthpr.com

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CANADIAN ANTI-COUNTERFEITING NETWORK

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