Report – CETA Weeks Away from Completion

By Drew Wilson

One of the, according to activists, threats to the Internet is apparently nearing completion. CETA (Comprehensive economic and Trade Agreement) is reportedly weeks away from being finalized. While the text has mostly remained secret, leaked information revealed that it contains anti-circumvention language and a copyright term extension. There’s even the possibility of a three strikes law, but that has not been confirmed at this time.

While many outlets are currently focusing on the latest of Kim Dotcom’s latest startup Mega, the latest developments from CETA have managed to fly under the radar. A report on Canada.com says that CETA is weeks away from completion. If true, major battles in Canada and Europe over the future of the Internet could very well be around the corner – though we should point out that CETA is no stranger to delays.

There have been many attempts to put in place a global DMCA by the major content industries. ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) was one such attempt that failed in Europe. For activists, the unfortunate truth is that ACTA is just one of numerous attempts to put in place things like anti-circumvention laws, notice-and-takedown regimes and even a so-called “three strikes law”. One such attempt is embedded in CETA – a trade agreement we reviewed earlier on.

The only information we have are proposals from Europe which showed that there are calls to put in place a global DMCA and extend the term of copyright yet again. From Canada.com:

“What we see at present early in 2013 is, of course, the readiness on both sides, the Canadian government side and the European Union side, to really finish the negotiations on (CETA),” Werner Wnendt, German ambassador to Canada, said in an interview with Postmedia News.

“It is, and should be possible, to do it as soon as possible — and as soon as possible could be next month.”

Wnendt said there are still some key issues that need to be discussed at the expert level before going to ministers for approval, which he believes could happen at a meeting in early February.

Once negotiations are completed, both sides would conduct a legal review of the text and hold ratification votes — including in the House of Commons and Senate in Canada — a process that would likely take at least a few months.

Indeed, representatives from a Canada-EU economic roundtable and trade lawyers following the talks also believe the negotiations will be completed within weeks, likely by February, but possibly even this month.

While it sounds like its on track, another report shows that there are still a few bumps on the road to completion:

Both Ends, a Dutch NGO, reports that European officials indicated that they are still unhappy with the Canadian position on copyright and patents. While the disagreement of patents for pharmaceuticals is well known, Canadian officials had indicated that the copyright provisions were completed.

So, while negotiators are hoping to complete CETA next month, these differences on policy certainly opens the door for more delays in the process. If not, then it sounds like there could be a showdown both in Canada and Europe in the coming months between the government and citizens. Since CETA covers much more than just copyright, like what was posted on Rabble earlier this month, there could be more than just advocates for Internet freedom that will put up a fight against this agreement.

Of course, there are still a few variables left that could throw off the timeline, so we’ll watch and see how this all unfolds.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85



1 Comment

  • “OPPOSITION” Sucking Up to EU; CETA & C-CI Treaty DELAYED for IMPROVEMENTs

    Mr. Estrin, President and Ms. McMillan, Executive Director, Green Party of Canada;

    Regarding Ms. Elizabeth May’s, Green Party of Canada, letter to me dated Oct.11, 2013,
    I am not going to belabor the despair, disenchantment, etc. that she is
    contributing to Canadians, both: Native and non Native, by way her
    inability, &/or, lack of desire to answer the simplest and most basic questions.

    However, as a demonstration of her veracity regarding her claim that she and
    the Green Party have left no stone un turned in her/your attempts to use every
    means of the “democratic” process in order stop, improve, &/or, reject the
    Canada – China Investment Treaty C-CIT; aka; FIPPA), the Comprehensive
    Economic & Trade Agreement (Canada – European Union CETA), et al,

    I will ask you to direct Ms. May to answer the following, simple due diligence
    questions:
    1) have you raised in the House of Commons the “Private Citizen’s Bill”, with
    its prerequisite political deniability for the Green Party, that demonstrate how
    most of the citizens of Canada, CHINA and the European Union can start to use the
    C-CITreaty an the CETAgreement discussions in order to exculpated themselves
    from having to pay any “contribution” to The Compensation (similar to The Residential
    Schools’ Compensation, but, far larger) that is embodied in The W.A.D. Accord
    (aka; “The Australian Question”)?
    2) have you given the House of Commons, the Chinese government (President Xi Jinping)
    and the European Union (EU; Parliament, Council and Commission);
    “The NOTIFICATION of Preexisting CHALLENGES to the C-CITreaty”
    “The NOTIFICATION of Preexisting CHALLENGES to the CETA”
    from each and every citizen of Canada, China and the European Union (the 95% – 99% of the citizens of Canada, both; Native & non Native, CHINA, the European Union, et al,
    who will not be shareholders in The C-CITreaty, The CETAgreement, et al)
    that you have already had the opportunity to consider, question, share with, etc. the
    aforementioned information?
    3) have you raised the questions regarding the relationship between:
    corporate Canada, particularly the Canadian financial institutions, and its shareholders
    via their lobbyists
    and
    the executives of political parties,
    and informed the Canadian taxpaying voters, ie. including the uninformed Conservative, Liberal, NDP voters, et al, that:
    a) without the non shareholders’ (the 95% – 99% of all Canadians, both;
    Native & non Native) taxes to pay for corporate Canada’s & their shareholders
    costs in “their” enterprises related to the C-CITreaty and the CETAgreement,
    including the punitive penalties and “damages” caused by corporate Canada
    which will secretly ascertain how much the non shareholders will have to
    pay to artificially increase the value of the shareholders’ stocks and dividends
    and
    b) the continuing cuts to existing programs, including; health, education, etc., will
    free up more tax dollars to fund “their” C-CIT & CETA enterprises that exclusively pay
    the shareholders even more dividends.

    Do you, Mr. Estrin, Ms. McMillan, Ms, May, et al, actually think that the “coveted” Chinese
    investor who said:

    “It’s not that we are racist when it comes to dealing with Canadians,
    its just that we can’t stand the way that you suck up to us”,

    approves of corporate Canada’s demand for the aforementioned secret
    tribunals that protect corporate Canada’s very lucrative and exclusive control of
    tax spending for the benefit of their corporations and shareholders, etc.
    and
    at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars to the non shareholders?

    Have you even tried to reach out to the “coveted” Chinese investor who, in conjunction
    with his associates, has a direct line of communicating with the top levels of
    the government of China?
    Do you want me to introduce you to him? And, if you, et al, really are as concerned
    as you would like to convince others that you are
    and
    are sincere in your desire to greatly improve the C-CIT (and the CETA),
    then,
    what is a “good” time for me to introduce you to him;
    do you have a problem with tomorrow?

    By way of closing, one final small item, would mind asking Ms. May to refrain from
    saying “thank you for your interest” when we, et al, write to her with simple, due diligence questions?
    Don’t you find that the remark is just a bit condescending when you consider that Ms.
    May has no intention of, &/or, the where with all to answer these simple questions?
    On the other hand, is she your first choice to work with the “coveted” investor, et al?

    Sincerely,

    David E.H. Smith
    – Researcher/ Bach. of Enviro. St.
    – “Qui tam…”

    Ed; Oct. 14, 2013
    For more Info. re; C-CITreaty, CETAgreement, et al, see; Facebook; David Smith, Sidney, BC
    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003319183540&fref=ts
    cc.

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