The Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) was an international treaty signed by countries such as the US, Canada, Japan, and South Korea in 2011 to establish standardized intellectual property rights enforcement, among other things. Protests across the world ensued and eventually the treaty was rejected by the EU in July 2012. Since that time however, Canada has been working to impose many of the requirements outlined in the ACTA through Bill C-8.
Mike Masnick from TechDirt outlined that the goal of ACTA was “to unite two very different issues: counterfeiting and copyright infringement. The legacy copyright players have been trying to conflate these things for years. That’s because they can point to the tiny, but very real, problem of counterfeit drugs or safety equipment that can cause serious damage… and then mix it with the very “large” issue of copyright infringement (where they can’t show any actual damage or harm) and pretend that it’s a big problem which puts tons of people at risk. Of course, none of that is true”.
Canadian IP lawyer Howard Knopf suggested that the bill had significant influence from the movie and recording industry. The media however has kept silent about the insidious bill, and with the exception of a small minority of people such as Michael Geist, there has been little resistance from the Canadian public.