WASHINGTON, D.C. - China, Russia and Canada are among the world's most problematic nations in the fight against copyright infringement, according to a new report from The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA).
Based in the U.S., the IIPA is a consortium of copyright industry trade groups that includes the Business Software Alliance, the Entertainment Software Association, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America.
In its annual report, the alliance uses revenue losses attributed to piracy to compile a "watch list" and a "priority watch" list for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The government will then consider this information in its annual "Special 301" report, which makes recommendations about combating piracy.
The IIPA alleges its members lost $18.4 billion due to lack of IP enforcement or insufficient laws in 2008, down from $20.1 billion in 2007. Ars Technica suggests this drop is misleading, because the film industry, book publishing and video game businesses failed to provide figures as they did in 2007.
Attorney Gregory A. Piccionelli told AVN that the IIPA study is valuable, but flawed in its failure to address adult content piracy.
"The ‘Special 301 Report' is an annual report that is supposed to help our government identify countries who insufficiently protect and enforce intellectual property rights," Piccionelli explained. "This is supposed to help protect the interests of domestic intellectual property rights owners. The one problem that I have always had with the report is that it does not include a country's failure to adequately protect copyrights in and to adult content. Thus, while maybe well-intentioned, in my opinion, the 'Report' has within it a repugnant elitist component that demeans U.S. adult intellectual property rights owners and relegates them to second-class status."
The IIPA's 2009 report names 13 countries to the priority list: Argentina, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia and Thailand. An additional 25 nations are on the general watch list, including Israel, Sweden, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan, due to what it calls "recent troubling legislative and/or enforcement developments in their respective markets."
For the first time, Taiwan is no longer on the watch list at all, though it appears on an additional list naming countries in need of "special monitoring."Italy and Spain were named as the top nations for illegal downloading, followed by France, Germany and Poland.
Canada, among other nations, has questioned "Special 301" for its lack of reliability and objective analysis, because it is fueled by American corporations.
Piccionelli believes the report reflects the U.S. government's bias against adult content producers.
"If the report took adult content infringement into account, it would not only have to list the United States among the offending nations, it would also have to disclose the fact that the U.S. has also intentionally and purposefully been singling out copyrighted adult content for exclusion from its criminal enforcement efforts as a matter of governmental policy," he said. "It kind of smacks of hypocrisy with a capital 'H,' doesn't it?"
Click the following link to view the IIPA report.