The four countries have the dubious distinction today of returning to the 2014 Country Watch List created by the International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus, the new name for the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus. The group created its Watch List “to alert those who are profiting by stealing the hard work of American creators and the countries helping them that we are paying attention and we expect our trading partners to protect intellectual property rights,” says Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
Except for Switzerland, the countries on the list also were cited on the U.S. Trade Representative’s Priority Watch List of havens for copyright violators. The Caucus put Switzerland on its list in 2012 following a court decision there that “rendered it virtually impossible for rights holders to bring actions against large scale peer-to-peer infringers,” it says. It also urged the USTR to consider adding the country to its list. The Caucus says that Italy and The Philippines are making progress. Although “the overall level of online piracy in Italy remains high,” regulations adopted in December “for the first time provide an expedited notice-and-takedown procedure for rights holders.” And The Philipines “has made substantial strides” to combat piracy.