Secret U.S. government cables show a stunning willingness by senior Canadian officials to appease American demands for a U.S.-style copyright law here.
The documents describe Canadian officials as encouraging American lobbying efforts. They also cite cabinet minister Maxime Bernier raising the possibility of showing U.S. officials a draft bill before tabling it in Parliament.
The cables, from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, even have a policy director for then industry minister Tony Clement suggesting it might help U.S. demands for a tough copyright law if Canada were placed among the worst offenders on an international piracy watch list. Days later, the U.S. placed Canada alongside China and Russia on the list.
The documents, released by WikiLeaks, are the backdrop to a 2010 Conservative copyright bill that virtually adopted the U.S. government's rigid enforcement of “digital locks” on DVDs, CDs and e-books.
Digital locks are the technology that, for example, prevent DVDs from being copied and make it impossible to view a disc from India on a North American disc player.
With few exceptions, American law makes it illegal to override digital locks in any way.
Many consumer groups describe the American approach as draconian.