Hollywood may have lost its effort to persuade Congress to toughen anti-piracy laws. But the MPAA and other trade groups for content producing companies believe that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative can do more: The International Intellectual Property Alliance just filed a report to the agency documenting what it says is “rampant online and physical piracy of copyrighted works and severe market access barriers” in 41 countries — and asked to have Canada and 9 other countries put on the government’s Priority Watch List. The designation is part of a process that could lead the government to determine that a country has violated certain trade agreements, which in some cases could result in dispute proceedings at the World Trade Organization. The IIPA says that Canada’s effort to combat piracy “falls far short of what should be expected of our neighbor and largest trading partner, with ineffective border controls, insufficient enforcement resources, inadequate enforcement policies, and a seeming inability to impose deterrent penalties on pirates.” Others that the IIPA wants on the Priority Watch List are Argentina, Chile, China, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand, and the Ukraine. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has until the end of April to file its annual report identifying countries that violate trade norms or agreements.
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