Friday, February 27, 2009

International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) asks the US Administration to place India under watch for piracy [India]

A group of American copyright trade associations has asked the US to put India, along with a dozen other nations including Pakistan and China, on its 'Priority Watch List' for intellectual property violations.
The recommendation has been made by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) -- a coalition of seven trade associations representing American copyright-based industries -- to the office of US Trade Representative.
The 13 countries, which have been recommended by the IIPA to be placed in 'Priority Watch List' in 2009, include Argentina, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia and Thailand.
In its report on India to the USTR, the IIPA has said that "piracy, physical, Internet and over mobile devices worsened in 2008".
"With the US economy shedding jobs at an alarming rate, our government needs to redouble it efforts to stem massive global theft of US-copyrighted works in physical form and on the Internet," IIPA said in a statement.
"Piracy causes significant economic losses to our country, undermining industries and companies that historically have generated new jobs at a rate two to three times greater than that of our economy as a whole," it noted.
According to IIPA, India suffered an estimated trade loss of 1.09 billion dollars in 2008 due to copyright piracy. The same stood at 1.19 billion dollars in the year-ago period.
It also pointed out that in India, "while pockets of some progress can be in the enforcement system, it remains ineffective to deter piracy".
Placing a trading partner country of the US under the 'watch list' indicates that there are particular problems with respect to intellectual property rights protection, enforcement or market access for people relying on IP.
Further, nations coming under the 'Priority Watch List' would be the main focus of bilateral attention related to the problematic areas.
The member associations of the Washington-based IIPA represent more than 1,900 US companies producing and distributing materials protected by copyright laws worldwide including computer and entertainment software, theatrical films, television programmes and music.
The seven associations that are part of IIPA are Association of American Publishers, Business Software Alliance, Entertainment Software Association, Independent Film & Television Alliance, Motion Picture of America, National Music Publishers' Association and Recording Industry Association of America.
The IIPA's submission discusses copyright piracy, the legal and enforcement reforms needed to fight it and other market access barriers in 48 countries.
The IIPA's review of the 'Special 301' report for 2009 on Copyright Protection and Enforcement has asked the American government to place 39 out of the total 48 to be named to an "appropriate USTR watch list".
The US government's 'Special 301' report pertains to intellectual property protection and market access issues in foreign countries.
"The US creative industries -- business and entertainment software, film, television and home video entertainment, music and recording, and book and journal publishing -- are important drivers of the US economy, contributing substantially to domestic growth and employment, including over 110 billion dollars annually in revenue from foreign trade," it said.
IIPA has also called for greater global law enforcement cooperation to tackle piracy.

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