Canada Harbors 'Rogue' Digital Pirates

Copyright Industries: Canada Harbors 'Rogue' Digital Pirates

Accusation made in annual report on state of global digital piracy.

Copyright Industries: Canada Harbors 'Rogue' Digital Pirates
CANADA—In its annual "Special 301 Report" identifying international trade barriers to U.S. companies and products as a result of intellectual property violations, the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) lists Canada as a country whose efforts in the fight against digital piracy leave a lot to be desired.

The submission by the IIPA, which is made up of entertainment industry trade groups such as  the RIAA and MPAA, recommended "reforms needed to address the theft of intellectual property and other barriers to overseas markets faced by U.S. industries that rely on copyright protection to produce movies, TV programming, music, software, video games, and books and journals."

According to TorrentFreak, "One of the main grievances against Canada is that the country offers a home to many sites which the copyright industries label as 'rogue' businesses. This includes the recently shut down as well as other popular torrent sites such as and"

In addition to the torrents, adds TF, "The copyright holders further mention the linking sites,, and as having Canadian connections, as well as the smaller torrent sites and Without proper enforcement action against them, Canada remains very attractive to these allegedly infringing sites, they claim."

Indeed, the IIPA reports notes, "It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Canada remains a magnet for sites whose well-understood raison d’être is to facilitate and enable massive unauthorized downloading of pirated versions of feature films, TV shows, recorded music, entertainment software, and other copyright materials. The largest of these Canadian-hosted sites attract scores of millions of unique visitors every month, and their corrosive effects on legitimate markets are felt worldwide."

The perceived lax attitude of the Canadian government has led to a commensurate increase in digital piracy among the Canadian population, the report further alleges, arguing, "In this environment, it is not surprising that Canadians continue to demonstrate a formidable propensity to patronize illegal online sources of copyright material, thus stunting the availability and growth of legal alternatives.

“A report released in September 2012 found that, on a per-capita basis, Canadians download more unauthorized music than residents of any other country, and two-and-one-half times as much as Americans,” it added.

Not surprisingly, the report suggests that Canadian ISPs "should partner with copyright holders to tackle the ongoing piracy problems. While some ISPs already forward infringement notices to their customers... repeated infringers go unpunished." In related news, another recent TF article reported that Comcast has sent out 625,000 copyright alerts to its customers since the "six strikes" system was instituted last year.

Needless to say, Canada is not the only country on the IIPA list. While Canada was included on the Watch List, which also had countries that included Brazil, Turkey, Switzerland, Mexico and Israel, to name a few, the report's Priority Watch List named Argentina, Chile, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, The RussianFederation, Thailand and Vietnam as being even more egregious, and one country, Ukraine, made it to the Priority Foreign Country List. Other countries made the various lists as well, but Canada was certainly unique, considering its relationship and proximity to the States.

The 2014 Special 301 Report on Copyright Protection and Enforcement can be found here.

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