Contact: Judy Platt (202) 220-4551
Jasmine Zick (202) 220-4550
Washington, DC, February 18, 2010—The Association of American Publishers (AAP) joined with six other copyright-related trade associations comprising the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) to submit its annual Special 301 Report to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). The report details issues related to intellectual property rights protection and market access in a number of foreign countries.
This year’s report highlights copyright protection and enforcement problems in 39 countries/territories, and recommends that 35 of them be placed on an appropriate USTR “watch list.” Global piracy continues to be a serious problem for the copyright industries and the U.S. economy, costing jobs and undermining U.S. economic growth. The report identifies the continuing challenges facing the copyright industries around the world, while also noting the initiatives both industry and government should take to address these challenges.
In its report, the IIPA again recommends that China be placed on the Priority Watch List. AAP and its sister organization in the UK have continued their anti-piracy efforts in China over the past year, with particular emphasis on Internet infringements affecting professional and scholarly publishers and organized textbook piracy on China’s university campuses. AAP remains deeply concerned by the lack of action against egregious infringement of online academic and professional journals by commercial entities in China, including a company called Kangjian Shixun. Well-known Chinese libraries continue to supply electronic copies of journals to this company for sale in competition with legitimate publishers.
The industry also faces a rare but very damaging pirate-production-for-export problem in Thailand and is working with Thai authorities to address this problem.
The IIPA report also recommends that 10 other countries be placed on the Priority Watch List, among them Canada, India, Mexico, the Philippines, and Russia all of which are of significant interest to U.S. publishers. AAP, as a member of the IIPA, submits specific recommendations relating to the publishing industry as part of the annual review. U.S. publishers continue to suffer significant economic harm in key overseas markets as a result of increased online piracy, commercial scale photocopying, illegal print runs, unauthorized translations and CD-R burning of book text.
“The IIPA report highlights the continuing importance of copyright-dependent industries to U.S. economic growth,” said Tom Allen, AAP President and CEO. “With increased access to online and mobile technologies, book and journal publishers are facing a serious and growing threat from digital piracy in addition to more traditional threats such as commercial-scale photocopying and illegal print. It is essential that the gaps in intellectual property protection highlighted in this report be addressed to allow U.S. companies to continue to create high-quality content and to explore innovative ways of delivering that content to consumers,” Mr. Allen said.
The full report is available at www.iipa.com.
The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. AAP’s more than 300 members include most of the major commercial publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies. AAP members publish hardcover and paperback books in every field, educational materials for the elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and professional markets, scholarly journals, computer software, and electronic products and services. The protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of the freedom to read and the freedom to publish at home and abroad, and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the Association’s highest priorities.