With their partners at the International Intellectual Property Alliance, the Recording Industry Association of America has submitted a “piracy watch list” to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, with the groups pointing to two countries as the worst hotbeds for intellectual property theft and piracy: Spain and Canada.
Spain, however, has passed a tough, new, U.S.-inspired law to combat piracy. The Sinde Law, named after Spanish Culture Minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde, allows a judge to order the closing of a website if it offers illegal content. Though the law faced massive opposition from the public and some elements in Spain’s movie industry, copyright holders celebrated it and many said they look forward to it becoming the law of the land by summer, TorrentFreak reports.
Meantime, the online gaming report Gamasutra says that a report filed by the Entertainment Software Association, another industry trade group, has asked for 33 countries to be put on a “watchlist” of nations failing to take adequate measures to combat copyright infringement. As with the RIAA recommendations, Spain was singled out, with the software types asking for the Spanish to be joined by China and Canada. The software group claims “lax policies” in the Spain “have fostered a culture permissive of piracy.”
Canada would get on the 2011 watch list because, “The Canadian Government has inexplicably consumed yet another year without modernizing its copyright regime, leaving a legal structure in place that is not adequate to respond to present challenges,” RIAA’s Neil Turkewitz said.
The U.S. Trade Representative will consider the RIAA advice when it prepares its annual Special 301 Report. That report allows the U.S. to identify countries that obstruct or deny proper copyright enforcement, thereby affecting international profits of U.S. industries; the notoriety nations earn by appearing on the watchlists can help pressure them to improve their anti-piracy laws.