MPAA welcomes govt focus on worldwide IP protections


MUMBAI: An annual report on worldwide intellectual property rights released by the United States Trade Representative will bring welcomed attention to efforts to protect creative content around the world, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) chairman and CEO Dan Glickman said.

The "Special 301" report outlines the Obama Administration’s priorities over the coming year for addressing intellectual property (IP) concerns and identifies countries particularly lacking in adequate and effective IP rights and enforcement.

"MPAA is encouraged by the Obama Administration’s recognition that intellectual property fuels our economy’s growth, and it is imperative that this economic driver is protected from theft both at home and abroad. We look forward to continued cooperation with the US government to raise awareness of the contribution of intellectual property to US global competitiveness and to augment IP enforcement efforts around the world," Glickman said, expressing appreciation for the hard work and dedication of US government agencies and US embassy officials.

The US motion picture industry is continually seeking new and innovative ways to deliver creative content to consumers, particularly over the Internet. It is, therefore, imperative that US trading partners have effective legislative frameworks for protecting creative content online and that they enforce intellectual property rights in the digital environment. This year’s report indicates the scope of global piracy and highlights the mounting challenges of protecting intellectual property online, particularly in Spain and Canada. Canada was elevated this year to the Priority Watch List.

"Canada continues to gravely lag behind other major trading partners in updating its laws to respond to the tremendous technological changes that have occurred over the past decade and to enable a legitimate market for digital content to flourish. I fully support Ambassador Ron Kirk and the Obama Administration’s decision to elevate Canada to the Priority Watch List," Glickman said.

For ten years, Canada has failed to amend its laws to permit ratification of the World Intellectual Property Organization "Internet" treaties and to clarify Internet service providers’ (ISP) obligations in a way that meaningfully addresses piracy in an online environment.

Internet piracy in Spain has reached an epidemic level, undermining the development of legitimate online commerce and damaging both U.S. and Spanish creators. There is strong local support in Spain for increased cooperation with ISPs but, to date, MPAA has been disappointed by the lack of concrete results.

"The situation as it stands is untenable. I sincerely hope that the Government of Spain seizes the opportunity to work with rights holders and ISPs to implement reasonable practices to protect the transmission of creative works online," Glickman said.

MPAA concurs with USTR’s decision to keep both China and Russia on the Priority Watch List. While Russia has made some progress on the implementation of its obligations under the IPR Bilateral Agreement, much work remains before Russia should be permitted to accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO). China continues to be one of the world’s largest suppliers of, and marketplaces for, pirated goods. MPAA hopes that through the WTO process, the Chinese will reform their legal system so that it may effectively deter piracy by providing meaningful criminal remedies against those who engage in piracy on a commercial scale.