The Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus [official website] on Wednesday released the 2010 International Piracy Watch List [text, PDF] naming China, Russia, Canada, Spain, and Mexico as the worst countries for protecting copyrighted information. The bipartisan caucus also released a list of the top websites hosted overseas [text, PDF] providing unauthorized access to copyrighted material. The report stressed the risk posed to the US economy [press release, PDF] when intellectual property is not protected. Committee co-chair, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) [official website], stated:
International piracy of American intellectual property weakens a segment of our economy that long has supported innovation and great American jobs. Congress must work on a bipartisan basis to protect the creative industries and the jobs they support. The United States has been on the losing end of the largest theft of intellectual property in history. This must be stopped, and soon.The report also lists specific steps each country needs to take to ensure protection of intellectual property including increasing liability under the laws of the individual countries and implementing effective border measures to protect against illegal international distribution of copyrighted materials.
Earlier this month, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) [official website] placed Russia, China, and Canada [JURIST report] on its Priority Watch List [text, PDF] of 12 countries that are not adequately protecting intellectual property rights [press release]. In March, the Canadian government pledged to strengthen copyright laws [JURIST report]. Last year, the USTR placed Canada on its priority watch list [JURIST report] for the first time. In January 2009, a dispute settlement panel of the World Trade Organization (WTO) [official website] found for the US [JURIST report] that large parts of China's intellectual property scheme are inconsistent with its obligations under several international treaties, including the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) [text].