WASHINGTON --- The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today released its annual Special 301 report, an evaluation of the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in U.S. trading partners. The report is an important tool in helping to reduce online content theft abroad as well as market access barriers to the U.S. copyright industries.
For the first time since 2005, the USTR has designated a Priority Foreign Country (PFC): Ukraine. PFC is the most serious ranking available under the Special 301 statute. Ukraine earned this designation by becoming an international source of pirated music and films that has significantly harmed the legitimate film and music market in Ukraine, with spill over losses in the U.S.
Also of note in this year's report is priority that USTR has placed on seeing Thailand enact meaningful anti-camcording legislation by scheduling a special review of Thailand's intellectual property protections before the issuance of next year's Special 301 report.
Finally, it is notable that Spain remains off the watch list. MPAA welcomes the efforts of the Spanish Government to enforce copyright protection and looks forward to concrete results in the months ahead.
Former Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), commended the USTR and Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis for the report and its documentation of worldwide intellectual property theft and market access barriers.
"The Special 301 report identifies some of the key foreign threats to America's copyright industries," Dodd said. "The report offers an important roadmap for improving strong and enforceable intellectual property protections and expanding U.S. exports, both of which are vital to the strength of the U.S. economy. We thank Acting U.S. Trade Representative Marantis, the USTR, and the interagency team who continue to support job creation in the creative economy."
About the MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Its members include: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.