Latest USTR Special 301 Report Shows Need for Concerted Action on Piracy in Key Markets

WASHINGTON, DC – The Software Alliance welcomed in a press release the US Trade Representative (USTR)’s annual Special 301 Report, which highlights international markets with the worst track records protecting Intellectual Property and providing market access for right holders.

“Some of the world’s fastest-growing economies continue to be havens for piracy,” said Jodie Kelley, BSA Senior Vice President for Anti-Piracy and General Counsel. “This year’s Special 301 report shows that countries like China, India and Russia are making slow progress but still have a long way to go in tackling software piracy. What also stands out in the report is a country like Ukraine, where the piracy rate is not just unacceptably high but also appears to be locked in place.”

“Piracy in China continues to be an overriding concern for the software industry because of the sheer scale of China’s market,” Kelley said. “BSA’s research shows that 14 percent of all software piracy in the world occurs there. The Special 301 Report is important because it highlights opportunities to start bringing the problem under control — for example, by focusing attention on software piracy in China’s state-owned enterprises. The report also calls out market barriers that lock foreign-made software products out the Chinese market.”

Ukraine’s classification as a Priority Foreign Country (PFC) — the most serious designation in the Special 301 Report — is notable because it gives USTR 30 days to decide whether to launch a formal investigation that could lead to trade sanctions.

“Piracy is rampant in Ukraine. It is common even in agencies of government — and authorities are allowing it to spread unchecked online,” said Kelley. “BSA and its members stand ready to work with the Ukrainian government to combat software piracy. The best place to start would be a credible program to make sure the government itself is using legal software.”

“BSA commends USTR and others in the Administration for their hard work in compiling this important report,” said Kelley. “It sends a strong message that software piracy and other forms of IP theft are in no one’s best interests. Improving intellectual property protection would benefit not just foreign right holders but also local innovative industries.”

The Software Alliance is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.

Source: Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (AGIP), AGIP Bulletin May 2013
http://www.agip.com

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