Those pesky Canadians!
Copyright lobbying group the International Intellectual Property Association has once again called upon the U.S government to add neighboring Canada to a list of copyright-violating rogue nations, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The Entertainment Software Association, which lobbies on behalf of U.S. video game publishers, is an IIPA member. Indeed, much of the IIPA’s angst with our friends to the north seems to revolve around Canada’s more tolerant attitude toward mod chips. From the L.A. Times:
Specifically, [the IIPA is] asking the Obama administration to add Canada to the "Priority Watch List" alongside Mexico (hey, it’s a NAFTA reunion!), Russia, China and other countries with a reputation for disregarding copyrights, patents and trademarks…
In particular, the IIPA wants Canada to do more to block the manufacture and sale of video game "mod" chips and other equipment to circumvent electronic locks; raise the statutory penalties for unauthorized copying, even when it’s done for personal use; crack down on the manufacture and sale of bootlegged DVDs; and require ISPs to take down infringing material upon request, rather than simply passing a notice of infringement on to the customer responsible for it.
The Bush administration essentially blew off the IIPA’s previous entreaties to target Canada. It’s doubtful that the group will have any better luck with the Obama team.
Meanwhile, as we were preparing this story, the ESA dropped a press release on the topic with the obligatory doom-and-gloom piracy quote from CEO Mike Gallagher:
Piracy is the single greatest threat to the innovation, artistic commitment and technological advancements enjoyed by millions of consumers worldwide. Piracy is a job killer that the world economy cannot afford in these difficult economic times. Countries that skirt obligations to combat piracy need to understand the unacceptable damage they are facilitating —and those countries that invest in protecting intellectual property rights and ensure that piracy is not tolerated at any level should be lauded.
The ESA also cited what it termed "alarmingly high volumes of illegal game downloads" on P2P networks BitTorrent and eDonkey.