Join the Club: The Implications of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement's Enforcement Measures for Canadian Copyright Law

  • Elizabeth F. Judge
  • Saleh Al-Sharieh


The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is the most recent international agreement by which Canada and other countries have sought to strengthen the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. While it was originally feared that ACTA would impose obligations that are in tension with the principles of Canadian copyright law, the final outcome of the ACTA negotiations moderated or removed many of the most controversial provisions in the agreement and thus has alleviated many of the concerns about the impact of ACTA on Canadian copyright law. Canada has taken the first steps toward satisfying ACTA’s copyright obligations with Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, which addresses some of the agreement’s digital copyright measures. Some legislative change still remains before Canada will have fully met ACTA’s copyright obligations, in particular to enhance the powers of customs and border authorities to enforce intellectual property rights. This article discusses ACTA’s evolution, negotiations, final text, and the extent of its rightsholder orientation. It then details the differences between ACTA’s provisions and the current Canadian Copyright Act, as amended by the Copyright Modernization Act, identifies which obligations in ACTA require further amendment, and suggests how these obligations may best be implemented to reflect important values and principles underlying Canadian copyright law.

Author Biographies

Elizabeth F. Judge
Elizabeth F. Judge is a Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. She is a member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society and an affiliate member of the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa.
Saleh Al-Sharieh
Saleh Al-Sharieh is a Doctoral Candidate at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa.