Creative Community Responds to USTR’s Special 301 Report for 2012

Today, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released the office’s annual “Special 301” Report on intellectual property rights and enforcement by US trading partners around the world.  The report reviewed the practices of 77 trading partners on IPR enforcement and market access measures.

While this report confirms that the creative community continues to face steep challenges both in terms of copyright enforcement and market access, it also demonstrates that the ongoing work by Ambassador Kirk and others throughout the Administration to engage with foreign trading partners to urge them to open markets and to promote respect for intellectual property rights is having positive effects. Both Spain and Malaysia were removed from the Special 301 Lists. We thank Ambassador Kirk, and all those involved in the interagency efforts to work with these countries, as well for their continued support of the creative community.

For more information about the Report, please visit the USTR

Below is a sampling of the reaction to today’s report from our members:

“This report highlights content theft and barriers in foreign markets that pose threats to the continued growth of U.S. creative industries and the U.S. economy. Strong copyright protection and enforcement are vital to our industry’s ability to create U.S. jobs, grow our own economy, and expand U.S. exports. We thank Ambassador Ron Kirk, the USTR and their colleagues across the interagency team who work tirelessly to enhance the protection of U.S. intellectual property rights overseas.”

-Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)

“Strong copyright protection and enforcement, in combination with open markets, remain critical to the ability of U.S. creators to continue to substantially contribute to the U.S. economy, generate many skilled or professional U.S. jobs, and further expand exports.  By seeking concrete solutions to piracy and barriers to market entry in those markets most affected by these distortions, USTR’s Report signals strongly the Administration’s commitment to protect one of our nation’s most valuable assets.  We thank senior officials at USTR, Commerce, State, USPTO, the Copyright Office, the Office of the IP Enforcement Coordinator, the IPR Center, and other agencies, along with their staffs, for continuing to engage bilaterally and regionally, encouraging and ensuring that our trading partners make concrete progress toward more open markets where intellectual property rights are respected.”

- Steven J. Metalitz, counsel to International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA)

“This report is an essential contribution to the ongoing efforts to better protect the rights of the global creative community…  Through its commendable efforts, USTR helps raise awareness about the need for critical reforms that enhance our culture and promote economic development and employment.”

- Neil Turkewitz, Executive Vice President, International, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)