US publishes piracy watch list

Each year the US publishes a report called Special 301. The report is an annual review of the global state of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement.

"This Report reflects the Administration’s resolve to encourage and maintain effective IPR protection and enforcement worldwide. It identifies a wide range of serious concerns, ranging from troubling “indigenous innovation” policies that may unfairly disadvantage U.S. rights holders in China, to the continuing challenges of Internet piracy in countries such as Canada and Spain, to the ongoing systemic IPR enforcement challenges in many countries around the world. Positive accomplishments recognized in this year’s Report include improved efforts by trading partners the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, all of whom have been removed from the Watch List."

One of the most interesting aspects of the report, as pointed out by ars technica, is the fact that Canada is lumped in with China and Russia on the Priority Watch List. Canada is on the list because they have not completed legislative reforms that they have committed to implementing. The report goes on to recommend that Canada should fully implement the WIPO Internet Treaties which they signed in 1997.

China makes the priority list for other reasons. The report states that 79% of all infringing products seized at the US border were of Chinese origin, that number is down from 81% in 2008. Small retail shops throughout China are also blamed for their status because they sell pirated movies, music, books and software.

The report goes on the list the other countries in US Watch List and Priority Watch List stating what the US feels they could do better to protect intellectual property rights in their country.

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