Washington - The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) - a coalition of seven associations comprising more than 3,200 companies, representing the U.S. copyright industries - will issue tomorrow a detailed report to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in its annual "Special 301" process, highlighting the depth and breadth of copyright piracy and market access barriers faced by U.S. creative industries in key overseas markets, and recommends urgent reforms needed to address these impediments.
The IIPA report documents online and physical piracy of copyright materials, market access barriers, and other developments in 48 countries/territories. Notably, IIPA recommends the designation of Ukraine as a Priority Foreign Country (PFC) under the Special 301 statute as a result of severe legal and copyright enforcement problems. IIPA also recommends that 7 countries be placed on the Priority Watch List, and that 25 countries be placed on the Watch List, for denial of adequate and effective IPR protection or fair and equitable market access. IIPA further advocates solutions to address "Copyright Industries' Initiatives and Challenges for 2013." USTR will hold a public hearing on Special 301 recommendations on February 20, and is expected to issue the U.S. government's Special 301 report around the end of April.
IIPA Counsel released this joint statement:
"Special 301 is an important trade tool to identify country practices that warrant attention for lax copyright protection or for maintaining onerous market barriers. Special 301 also fosters a sound approach to establish IP policy objectives for the year. Strong copyright protection and enforcement around the globe will buttress our nation's creative industries, benefit creators and consumers worldwide, boost U.S. exports, create good high-wage jobs here at home, and contribute to U.S. economic growth. The U.S. core copyright industries, which produce and provide music, motion pictures and television, all types of software including entertainment software, and book and journal publishing, remain important drivers of the U.S. economy. These industries contribute mightily to domestic growth and employment, accounting for roughly 6.4% to the U.S. economy, nearly 5.1 million U.S. workers, and $134 billion annually in revenue from foreign sales and exports. These industries increasingly depend on access to overseas markets, so piracy in the online and physical environments and other market access barriers inflict severe harm on U.S. companies and workers. Governments must take swift action to address these concerns in order to foster legitimate commerce in copyright materials."
We thank all those in the U.S. government who work steadfastly throughout the year to ensure that our trading partners respect U.S. intellectual property and open their markets to our products and services."