The U.S. Trade Representative’s annual list of the countries on America’s official piracy radar was released today, with Spain and Malaysia dropping off the roster and Ukraine coming aboard. The highest Priority Watch List includes thirteen countries: Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela. The report says online piracy is “rapidly supplanting physical piracy in many markets around the world” and nowhere more so than in China, where 99% of all music downloads are illegal. Streaming sites with pirated content also have become the preferred venues to watch TV shows, movies, and live sports events. “Strong copyright protection and enforcement are vital to our industry’s ability to create U.S. jobs, grow our own economy, and expand U.S. exports,” MPAA chairman Chris Dodd said today in commending the Special 301 report. “We thank Ambassador Ron Kirk, the USTR and their colleagues across the interagency team who work tirelessly to enhance the protection of U.S. intellectual property rights overseas.” Back in February, the International Intellectual Property Alliance filed a report documenting what it says is “rampant online and physical piracy of copyrighted works and severe market access barriers” in 41 countries, with a special shout-out to Canada’s “ineffective border controls, insufficient enforcement resources, inadequate enforcement policies, and a seeming inability to impose deterrent penalties on pirates.” In its report today, the USTR said Canada’s status is subject to review if the country passes “long-awaited” copyright legislation and if it addresses online piracy.
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