ECPA's Rush To PressUS Publishers Commend USTR for Special 301 Report But Urge Engagement with Canada on Serious Copyright Concerns

Washington, DC; May 1, 2014 — The Association of American Publishers, the largest trade association representing the US book and journal publishing industry, welcomes the release of the US Trade Representative (USTR) 2014 Special 301 Report and the countries listed. AAP expresses concern, however, that the harm stemming from Canada’s undefined “education” as fair dealing exception was not listed among the priority issues requiring deeper bilateral engagement in the Report’s section addressing that country.

AAP, with a membership of nearly 450 US publishing organizations, has been an active participant in the annual Special 301 process and submitted recommendations to USTR in February 2014 through the International Intellectual Property Alliance, of which it is a member.

The 2014 Special 301 Report highlights inadequate intellectual property protection and other market access barriers in 37 US trading partners. The reporting process remains an important vehicle for bringing to light current copyright policies that undermine the investments of local and foreign publishers in global markets. AAP agrees with the inclusion of those countries whose IP practices are particularly problematic to authors and publishers: China, India, Indonesia and Russia are among the 10 on the Report’s Priority Watch List and Turkey and Vietnam are in the 27 listed on the Watch List.

While USTR placed Canada on the Report’s Watch List, it ignored the overly-expansive interpretation and application of Canada’s new “education” as fair dealing exception. This exception is undermining the well-established market for licensing secondary uses of published materials in academic settings.More details about publishers’ concerns with Canada.

This year’s Report also identified positive developments in a number of countries. In particular, the Philippines was removed from the Watch List in recognition of the active and continuing cooperation of its Intellectual Property Office with rights holders, including publishers, to implement more effective copyright protection.

Tom Allen, President and CEO, AAP, said:

“AAP appreciates that USTR recognized the challenges faced by authors and publishers due to the growth of online copyright infringement worldwide and has again highlighted such infringement of scientific, technical and medical publications in China.

“We are disappointed, however, that the Report failed to prioritize serious copyright concerns in Canada, specifically its undefined education exception and the negative impact on all publishers invested in the Canadian market. We urge the USTR to effectively engage with the Canadian government to define the scope of the education exception to ensure that high-quality educational materials remain widely available in that country.”

About the Association of American Publishers
The members of AAP are building the future of publishing. AAP represents America’s premier creators of high-quality entertainment, education, scientific and professional published content. They include commercial and not-for-profit organizations, scholarly societies, university presses, educational technology companies and digital start-ups. These nearly 450 organizations dedicate the creative, intellectual, financial and technological investments to bring great ideas to life and deliver content to the world’s diverse audiences in all the ways they seek it.