US singles out global piracy offenders

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US singles out global piracy offenders

A recent US government report has named 12 countries as the top perpetrators of copyright theft.

The report was issued by the office of the US Trade Representative as part of its yearly Special 301 report on global intellectual property theft. 

"Innovation is the lifeblood of a dynamic economy here in the US and around the world," said trade representative Susan Schwab. "We must defend ideas, inventions and creativity from rip-off artists and thieves."

Russia and China topped the list of concerns in the 2007 report, which said that, although both countries had made progress, widespread trafficking of pirated goods remained rampant.

China and Russia were two of 10 countries placed on the organisation's priority watch list of countries that "do not provide an adequate level of intellectual property rights protection or enforcement, or market access for persons relying on intellectual property protection".

Other countries on the priority list were Argentina, Chile, Egypt, India, Israel, Lebanon, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela.

The countries could eventually face action from the World Trade Organisation if they do not make efforts to improve piracy law enforcement. 

The report also listed 31 countries which were considered lower-level offenders and were placed on either the 'watch list' or 'section 306' monitoring list.

Among the countries in those two lists were Canada, Italy, Poland, Korea, Mexico and Taiwan.

Several countries also managed either to move down the list or off it altogether. The report said that Brazil moved from the 'priority watch list' to the less severe 'watch list'.

The Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, and the EU were all removed from the listings.
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