Washington, D.C. — The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), a coalition of seven trade associations with 1,900 company members representing the copyright-based industries, today strongly supported the announcement by the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus (IAPC) targeting China, Canada, Spain, Russia, and Ukraine for inadequate protection of copyright and ineffective enforcement. The IAPC co-chairs announced their list today at an event featuring the leaders of many IIPA member associations, including Mitch Bainwol, Chairman & CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Michael Gallagher, President & CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), Robert Holleyman, President & CEO of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and David Israelite, President & CEO of the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA).
Eric Smith, counsel to IIPA, made the following statement: “IIPA and its member associations want to thank Senators Whitehouse and Hatch and Congressmen Goodlatte and Schiff, co-chairs of the Caucus, all Caucus members, and their staffs, for their continuing support for strong global copyright protection and enforcement by all our trading partners. The IAPC has recognized the devastating impact copyright piracy – both online and physical – has on the continued viability of creative industries in both developed and emerging markets. Their 2011 list highlights the need to vigilantly protect our nation’s creative industries abroad through strong copyright protection, reducing piracy through more effective enforcement, and toppling market access barriers. These steps will help boost U.S. exports, continue to provide and create good jobs here at home, and contribute to U.S. economic growth. In particular, IIPA appreciate continued focus on China. China’s notorious piracy websites and services, its failure to effectively lower enterprise end-user software piracy or legalize government and state-owned enterprise (SOE) use of software or publications, and its numerous and entrenched market access barriers effectively shut U.S. content industries out of one of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets.”
IIPA counsel Steven J. Metalitz added: “Canada stands virtually alone among developed economies in failing to bring its laws up to global minimum standards for the digital networked environment. We hope that the new Government will move quickly to close the gap in Canada’s legal structure and also focus on more effective and deterrent enforcement, including at the borders. Spain’s efforts to date to address its devastating online piracy have been ineffective, with economic opportunities and legitimate distribution infrastructure being decimated or altogether eliminated for some copyright industries. While adoption of the Law on the Sustainable Economy marks an important first step toward combating Internet piracy in Spain, additional steps to address consumption of infringing materials, remove anonymity for infringers, and secure greater cooperation on the part of Internet service providers with respect to the use of their proprietary networks and platforms for infringing purposes, are urgently needed to resuscitate this market.”
IIPA counsel Eric Schwartz noted: “Russia’s legal and enforcement regime continues to raise serious concerns for all of the copyright industries. The Russian Government’s recent policy statements in which they assert that ‘nothing can be restricted on the Internet’ cause further concern that they are not prepared to effectively protect right holders in the online environment, or to advance the rule of law with respect to the digital environment. In addition to better addressing online piracy, the Government of Russia needs to combat hard copy piracy in the streets, the use of unauthorized materials, especially software, in corporations and in government offices, and, the ongoing problems pertaining to the collective administration of the rights of performers and record companies. We look forward to working with the Government of Russia on legislative and regulatory reforms to properly address these problems. As one notorious example, Russia needs a legal regime that prohibits businesses such as vKontakte’s ‘music service’ from continuing operations, since their entire business model is based on providing access to infringing materials. Ukraine’s legal and enforcement regime also continues to raise very serious concerns for IIPA member companies, and is in need of both legal reforms and increased enforcement, especially directed at Internet piracy.”