Ukraine is the Blackbeard of copyright violators:
- The United States on Thursday issued its annual list of countries with the worst record of protecting copyright material and other intellectual property, again identifying Ukraine as the worst culprit. [worse than the 98% music CD piracy rate of Peru?]
The U.S. Trade Representative's Office said $75 million in U.S. sanctions on Ukraine would remain in effect because of that country's failure to adopt and enforce adequate protections against the illegal copying of optical media products such as music CDs, movie DVDs and computer software.
The sanctions were first imposed in January 2002.
Protection of intellectual property rights is an increasingly important component of U.S. trade policy.
The International Intellectual Property Alliance, a consortium of publishing, film, software and recording industry groups, estimates that global piracy costs U.S. copyright industries more than $22 billion annually.
The 50 countries listed in the USTR annual report accounted for $9.8 billion of those annual losses, the group said.
"Open markets and rules that guarantee the protection of intellectual property are critical to the continued health of the creative sectors of our economy," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said in a statement.
....Ukraine was the only country put on the Priority Foreign Country list, the most serious designation.
China and Paraguay remain subject to special monitoring under U.S. trade laws.
Both countries have negotiated bilateral agreements with the United States to address long-standing piracy concerns, and failure to comply with those commitments could lead to U.S. sanctions.
Placed on the Priority Watch List, the next highest category of concern, were Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil, the 15-nation European Union, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, and Taiwan. [Reuters]
Piracy for profit bad, copyright good, just not excessive copyright.