Washington: India, China, Russia and nine other nations have been targeted by the United States for failing to sufficiently protect American producers of music, movies and other copyrighted material from widespread piracy.
The Bush administration placed the 12 countries on a “priority watch list” on 30 April that will subject them to extra scrutiny and could eventually lead to economic sanctions if the administration decides to bring trade cases before the World Trade Organization.
Another 31 countries are placed on lower level monitoring lists, indicating the concerns about copyright violations in those nations did not warrant the highest level of scrutiny.
The annual report, known as a “Special 301 Report,” for the section of US trade law that it covers, said that China has a special stake in upgrading its protection of intellectual property rights, given that its companies will be threatened by rampant copyright piracy as they increase their own innovation.
“We must defend ideas, inventions and creativity from rip-off artists and thieves,” US trade representative Susan C. Schwab said. In addition to India, Russia and China, the nine countries placed on the priority watch list are Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela.