MPAA Asks U.S. Trade Rep To Add Australia, Brazil, Northern Ireland, And Mexico To List Of “Notorious” Piracy Enablers

The Hollywood lobby group responded to a request from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for names of countries that it should consider including in its list of “notorious markets” to penalize for failing to crack down on piracy. The MPAA’s collection had a lot of familiar targets including Ukraine, Canada, China, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand, and India. But it added several others for providing havens for copyright-infringing peer-to-peer networks, Bit Torrent portals, download and streaming hubs, linking websites and newsgroups, and physical markets pirates. The “rogue overseas marketplaces,” MPAA chief Chrisopher Dodd says, “undermine the people who work hard to create the movies and TV shows audiences love, and jeopardize the billions of dollars they contribute to the U.S. economy.” The group’s letter specifically cites Australia’s Caribbean Gardens & Markets, the country’s “largest undercover market” that routinely sells pirated DVDs. “State and federal police have shown no interest in enforcing [copyright infringement laws] despite multiple entreaties from rights holders.” There’s a similar situation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where the city’s “largest and most famous shopping market” — Mercado Popular de Uruguaiana — “contains more than 1,500 kiosks, many of which sell counterfeit optical discs.” Northern Ireland’s Jonesborough Market has “historically strong ties to paramilitary groups” and operators “sell an array of counterfeit products, including pirated optical discs.” And for Mexico the MPAA cites just a few of “the nearly 90 well-known markets” controlled by organized criminals that “specialize in pirate and counterfeit products and operate across Mexico.”  The trade group says that the movie and TV industries account for about 2M jobs and more than $104B in wages in the U.S.

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