US: Special 301 review highlights Euro piracy problem

A new report entitled Special 301 Review, filed by the International Intellectual Property Alliance in conjunction with games publisher association the ESA, has highlighted the countries in which piracy remains a huge problem – and several European countries have made the list.

Alongside ongoing piracy hotspots such as China and Russia, a number of European countries were identified in the report including the Sweden, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain and Turkey. All were placed on the USTR’s Watch List for failure to execute sufficient levels of intellectual property rights protection.

The Administration’s top priorities this year continue to be addressing weak IPR protection and enforcement, particularly in China and Russia,” the report states. Although this year’s Special 301 Report shows positive progress in many countries, rampant counterfeiting and piracy problems have continued to plague China and Russia, indicating a need for stronger IPR regimes and enforcement in those countries.

In addition to China and Russia, the Special 301 Report sets out significant concerns with respect to such trading partners as Argentina, Chile, India, Israel, Pakistan, Thailand, and Venezuela. In addition, the report notes that the United States will consider all options, including, but not limited to, initiation of dispute settlement consultations in cases where countries do not appear to have implemented fully their obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).”

The increased availability of broadband Internet connections around the world has made the Internet an extremely efficient vehicle for disseminating pirated products. Internet piracy is a significant concern in a number of countries, including Canada, China, Sweden, Spain, and Russia, among others.”

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