India on ‘Priority Watch List’ in IIPA Special 301 report for copyright protection

India is on the ‘priority watch list in 2012’ of special 301 report on copyright protection and enforcement by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA). In its submission to the US Trade Representative (USTR) as part of the annual Special 301 process, the IIPA highlighted those countries that failed to provide adequate and effective protection for US intellectual property.

The IIPA has identified India, China, Russia and Canada as well as over 30 other countries as some of the worst offenders for failing to adopt clear rules prohibiting services that are knowingly and intentionally operated to provide access to infringing materials.

The report was filed with the USTR last week and warns the federal office that numerous nations allegedly deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or that deny fair and equitable market access to US persons who rely on intellectual property protection.

As a response for these allegations, the IIPA suggested that the trade office take actions that range from increasing prosecution sentences for search engine operators, create legal incentives for cooperating Internet Service Providers and, in some cases, force foreign ISPs to block users access to questionable site altogether.

Among their grievances, the IIPA sites several popular file-sharing sites and torrent directories hosted internationally. For assisting in aiding in the availability of copyrighted material that could be downloaded online across the globe, the agency is asking the federal government to consider the countries in question with hopes “to reduce global piracy levels” and “aim to define and seek implementation of concrete solutions to significant commercial hurdles faced by the content industries of the United States.”

The result of the inquiry could prompt federal authorities to continue cracking down on non-US sites that violate American law.

In all, the IIPA recommends 41 distinct countries and territories for placement on a series of global watch lists that should be monitored due to concerns of copyright infringement. Elsewhere in the report, websites including Filesonic, isoHunt, Demonoid and the Pirate Bay are noted in the submission.

Members of the IIPA include the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. Both the MPAA and the RIAA websites were crippled last month by Anonymous in retaliation for supporting online censorship.

RIAA EVP-International Neil Turkewitz said, “This report identifies some of the key shortcomings in the global protection of intellectual property, and highlights key reforms that could—and hopefully will—be undertaken to expand the opportunities for the creative community in the United States, and our global counterparts. According to IFPI an astonishing 95% of all downloads are estimated to be infringing. That is not a sustainable environment for allowing creators to earn a living from their craft.”

IIPA welcomed the Indian Government’s announcement of an initiative to develop a national IPR policy and to engage with industry stakeholders in this process.

Priority Actions Requested in 2012 from India


• Create a national anti-piracy task force with goals to reduce piracy, inter alia, by working with state Nodal officers, providing them with significantly increased resources; provide more accountability and power to the recently constituted task force by FICCI under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

• Reinvigorate “IP cells” within the state police, provide them with significantly increased resources, and establish specialized IP prosecutors, to be more effective in addressing piracy, including Internet/mobile device piracy.

• Encourage judicial reform, including establishing IP courts or panels with expert judges and prosecutors, which will help in accelerating the adjudication process in criminal and civil cases, and imposing deterrent fines and imprisonment, and civil remedies, including statutory damages.

WIPO study on economic impact of copyright industries sans India

India is overlooked in a study conducted on the economic impact of the copyright industries by The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The study entitled ‘Copyright + Creativity = Jobs and Economic Growth’ is based on data retrieved from 30 countries across the globe.

Deep Emotions Publishing managing director Achille Forler said, “India’s creative industries were left out in this Report highlights the pressing need to have reliable data on their economic contribution to the country’s GDP. Such data, in turn, will help evolve supporting policies.”

Radio, TV, Music & Theatre are among the most labor intensive sectors, providing higher contribution to GDP compared to the labor input in them. The contribution of core copyright industries such as the music industry to GDP averages over 5% across countries, and provides for nearly 6% of employment.

With 40.5%, Press and Literature is by far the biggest contributor to generating added value, the other driver industries – Software and Databases, Radio & TV, Music & Theatre, Advertising, Motion picture and video exhibit together 55% of the share, with Software and Databases alone standing for almost half of that contribution.

Commenting on the study Forler said, “Copyright is the livelihood for millions of creators – individuals or companies – who are enriching the world with their talent, imagination and emotions. This WIPO study details the enormous impact these creators make to the global economy and corroborates the results of various earlier studies that, in many countries, this sector is more substantive than traditional economic sectors and fully comparable with tourism, hotels and restaurants.”

The study also shows a positive correlation between the level of contribution of the copyright industries to GDP and the importance of intellectual property rights in a given country, illustrating the significance of a functioning legal framework. It also finds that countries in which copyright industries are larger contributors to GDP tend to rank higher in terms of global competitiveness and investment in research and development. In general, countries which have experienced rapid economic growth also have an ‘above average’ share of GDP attributed to copyright industries.

The analysis highlights the economic significance of these industries in both developed and developing countries around the world. It also demonstrates their connection to other important factors such as growth and competitiveness.

International Confederation of Music Publishers secretary general Ger Hatton said, “Strong copyright protection can aid economic recovery and safeguard jobs as shown in this WIPO study and is a welcome vindication for the authors and composers throughout the world that depend on copyright to make a living.”

Source : Internet Media


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