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U.S. Trade Rep Creates Piracy Watch List

U.S. Trade Rep Creates Piracy Watch List

May 3, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

The Entertainment Software Association is praising a report from the United States Trade Representative that calls out countries that don't do enough to protect intellectual property.

The USTR's "Special 301" report identified countries that either don't sufficiently guard IP rights, or that block American businesses that rely on copyright protection. 11 countries, including Canada and China, are on a "Priority Watch List" for more immediate problems, while 29 countries including Spain and Mexico are on a "Watch List."

"Internet piracy is a significant concern with respect to a number of trading partners, including Brazil, Canada, China, India, Italy, Russia, Spain and Ukraine," highlighted the report, pointing out that Canada has yet to enact key legislative reforms surrounding copyrights.

China is also specifically noted for "market access barriers create additional incentives to infringe products such as movies, video games, and books, and lead consumers to the black market, thereby compounding the severe problems already faced by China’s enforcement authorities."

The ESA had itself named many of these problem nations through its membership with the International Intellectual Property Alliance, and filed a report with the USTR last year, and recommended it investigate the "piracy havens."

"Illicit circumvention devices such as mod chips and game copiers are facilitating online piracy, which can cripple our industry’s extraordinary innovation," says ESA president Michael Gallagher.

"President Obama has underscored the importance of doubling exports over the next five years in order to spur job growth," he adds. "The entertainment software industry is well positioned to contribute to this initiative, as we produce game products that the world desires."

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