Canada Signs Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Canada signed the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on Saturday.

Canada, Australia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea joined the United States in agreeing to target the theft of intellectual property. The EU, Mexico and Switzerland remain open to participating at some point in the future, and have until May 2013 to sign ACTA.

The U.S.-led initiative requires signatories to create civil and criminal  enforcement mechanisms in dealing with intellectual property infringement. It targets pirated copyright goods, counterfeit trademark goods and goods used to commit IP theft.

The most contentious element of ACTA is the focus on digital locks. While in line with current U.S. policies, the circumvention of digital locks is not yet unlawful in Canada, and is being debated in the House as an element of proposed Bill C-11.