May 1, 2013 – WASHINGTON, DC – The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today released its annual “Special 301” Report, in which it highlighted shortcomings in copyright protection and/or market access for U.S. copyrights in more than 40 countries and territories by assigning them to the Priority Watch List or Watch List, launching reviews, and in the case of Ukraine designating it a “Priority Foreign Country.” The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) applauded these decisions and other country placements which follows recommendations made by it and other industries that depend on strong intellectual property protection and enforcement.
“Protecting intellectual property grows jobs at home and abroad, and fosters innovation around the world,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, which represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. “Content creators and consumers lose when countries fail to protect intellectual property.”
U.S. country placements supported by the game industry include:
- Spain will be subject to an “out-of-cycle review” for the U.S. to determine whether Spain should be returned to the “Watch List” for falling short on commitments made in 2012 to improve mechanisms to address rampant online piracy.
- Russia is to be retained on the “Priority Watch List.” During 2012, Russia led all other countries in peer-to-peer piracy of ESA member game titles, highlighting the need for a legal framework to address online piracy problems.
- Brazil is to be retained on the “Watch List.” During 2012, for a second year in a row, Brazil ranked second in the world in peer-to-peer piracy of ESA member titles, but it has not put in place needed online remedies nor prosecuted any site operators for copyright violations.
- Mexico is to be retained on the “Watch List.” Deficiencies in Mexico’s copyright laws combined with a lack of enforcement of its existing laws have allowed hard goods game piracy to flourish while contributing to online piracy problems. Mexico is urged to pass legislation outlawing the trafficking in circumvention devices and technologies and to take serious steps to address growing online piracy.
ESA offers services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global anti-piracy program, owning and operating E3, and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, please visitwww.theESA.com or follow us on Twitter: @RichatESA.