USTR “Priority Watch List” – The World’s Biggest Piracy Offenders

May 26th, 2011

The US Trade Representative published a report on global infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR), detailing a “priority watch list” of the biggest offenders. The report also discuss developments in IPR protection and enforcement.

Here is the priority watch list, in order of most offenses, along with excerpts taken from the report that I found interesting.

USTR Priority Watch List

1.  China

“It is estimated that there are 457 million Internet users in China, as copared with 223 million in the United States; when coupled with reports that 99% of all music downloads in China are illegal, the concersn of industry are understandable.”

2.  Russia

“[N]umerous pay-per-download websites as well as cyberlockers, BitTorrent sites, and unauthorized music services . . . reside in Russia. . . . Additionally, recent litigation with respect to the single collecting society accredited to collect royalties on behalf of all performers and record companies (i.e., the All-Russia Organization for Intellectual Property (VOIS)) has introduced uncertainty regarding VOIS’s status and the status of the accreditation process generally.”

3.  Algeria

“[C]opyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting remain widespread and enforcement efforts remain insufficient.”

4.  Argentina

“[S]erious problems persist, including widespread available of pirated and counterfeit goods, an inefficient judicial system, and a failure to adjudicate civil and criminal cases and impose deterrent level sentences. . . . [O]verall levels of copyright piracy continue to present a problem, as reflected, for example, in a reported growth in piracy over the Internet.”

5.  Canada

“Canadian efforts in 2010 to enact long-awaited copyright legislation were unsuccessful.”

6.  Chile

7.  India

“India continues to have a weak legal framework, and ineffective overall IPR enforcement persists.”

8.  Indonesia

“The United States also urges Indonesia to address its serious market access barriers for IPR-intensive products . . . [including] its customs valuation methodology for imported motion pictures and continuing market access restrictions in the entertainment industry.”

9.  Israel

“The United States encourages Israel to amend its copyright law to provide for statutory damages . . . [and] to enforce judicial decisions requiring cable operators to compensate copyright holders for the unauthorized retransmissions of television broadcast signals containing their works. . .”

10.  Pakistan

“[W]idespread copyright piracy (including book piracy and piracy of software programs in enterprises), as well as trademark counterfeiting, persis.”

11.  Thailand

“Piracy and counterfeiting, including illegal downloading of pirated works frm the Internet, and the theft of cable and satellite signals, remain rampant in Thailand, and the motion pictures industry has reported a significant increase in unauthorized camcording of motion pictures in theaters.”

12. Venezuela

Access the report and other related documents here.