OTTAWA, June 21 /CNW/ - The Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (CACN)
today applauded an Industry, Science and Technology Committee report entitled
"Counterfeiting and Piracy are Theft," and urged the federal government to act
quickly on the Committee's recommendations. The Parliamentary Committee
recommended strong measures against counterfeiting and piracy.
"The report boldly and unambiguously reinforces the need for the
government to take proactive steps against criminal activities that cause
billions of dollars in economic losses, feed money to organized crime, and
pose a significant threat to the personal health and safety of Canadians,"
says Doug Geralde, Chair, CACN, and Director, Audits & Investigations, CSA
Noting the report's unanimous, all-party support, Geralde adds, "It's
heartening to see that Parliamentarians can set aside their partisan
differences to respond so effectively to protect Canadians and battle
counterfeiting and piracy. We thank the Committee's Chair and Vice-Chair for
their inclusive, non-partisan leadership in making this happen."
The report makes 19 recommendations, among them:
- New criminal provisions including legislation making it an offence to
manufacture, reproduce, import, distribute and sell counterfeit
- Stronger civil remedies for counterfeiting and piracy infringements.
- Administrative monetary penalties for importing and exporting
counterfeit and pirated goods.
- Legislation imposing liability on individuals who distribute pirated
digital works and who manufacture and/or distribute circumvention
devices for commercial gain.
- Canada Border Services Agency and law enforcement authorization to
target, detain, seize, and destroy counterfeit and pirated goods on
their own initiative.
- The provision of adequate resources to the RCMP and Department of
Justice to effectively address counterfeiting and piracy.
- Ratification of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.
- The establishment of an Intellectual Property Crime Task Force
composed of police officers, customs officers and federal prosecutors
to work with intellectual property business leaders.
"Canadians, through their elected representatives in Parliament, are
clearly saying that the time for research, study and talk is over," says Carol
Osmond, vice chair, CACN and senior policy advisor to I.E.Canada, the Canadian
Association of Importers and Exporters, echoing the words of the Hon. Robert
Thibault (West Nova, Lib.) when he told the Committee that "the only demand
for research that we've heard is from researchers."
The report's comprehensive recommendations are consistent with those of a
separate report on counterfeiting and piracy issued earlier this month by
Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU).
It is also the fourth time in recent years that a Parliamentary committee
has unanimously called upon the Government to ratify the WIPO treaties,
including previous calls by the Heritage Committee.
With clear direction in hand from industry and Parliament, the CACN is
urging the Government to use the time provided by Parliament's summer recess
to develop legislation based on both committees' reports.
"We call upon the federal Government to move quickly and decisively on
these comprehensive recommendations," Osmond remarks.
Yesterday's report comes about a week after a Conference Board of Canada
report card graded Canada 'D' for innovation and placed this country 14th out
of 17 OECD nations measured.
The Industry Committee report explicitly recognized that counterfeiting
and piracy were a critical drain on Canada's innovative capacity. The
Committee noted that the adequate enforcement of IP rights "facilitate and
encourage the pursuit of innovation" and IP rights are the "only industrial
tool that rewards the innovator commensurate with the innovation's commercial
Michael Murphy, Executive Vice President Policy, Canadian Chamber of
Commerce, agreed wholeheartedly with the Committee's recommendations:
"Canada's woefully inadequate protection of intellectual property is an
enormous disincentive to innovate. By protecting innovators from theft,
tougher IP laws and enforcement will strengthen Canada's ability to compete
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade affirmed this
view in a recent statement, noting that "The competitiveness of Canadian
firms...often depends on their ability to protect their intellectual assets
and enforce their rights."
"The Department's views reflect the international dimension of Canada's
poor performance on counterfeiting and piracy," says Graham Henderson,
President of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, and a member
organization of the CACN Steering Committee. "Implementing the committees'
recommendations will not only deliver economic benefits within Canada, but
will put us on a stronger footing with our major trading partners."
The Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network (CACN) is a non-profit coalition
of stakeholders that has 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)