Washington, DC; April 28, 2016 — The Association of American Publishers (AAP) welcomes yesterday’s release of the US Trade Representative (USTR) 2016 Special 301 Report, which identifies many key copyright concerns and market-access barriers in U.S. trading partners. The report addresses market opportunities and challenges for publishers with the ongoing growth of the digital formats and mobile marketplaces, and stresses the importance of the Trans-Pacifc Partnership (TPP) implementation.
The Report is a critical tool for lawmakers to help remove barriers that impede the ability of lawful copyright-based services to compete around the world. We especially appreciate the call for China to increase enforcement against persistent online piracy, including unauthorized access to scientific, technical and medical journals.
AAP made recommendations for the 2016 Special 301 report to the USTR, and many of the countries whose IP practices are particularly problematic to publishers and authors were included:
- Priority Watch List has 11 countries, including key copyright markets like Chile, China, India, Russia, Thailand, and Ukraine;
- Watch List has 23 countries, including key markets for creators like Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, and Vietnam;
- USTR maintains its Out-of-Cycle Review for Spain, and three other new or continued countries
While many of these countries regularly appear on the list, several were removed from the 2016 Watch List. These updates reflect positive developments in previously listed countries, and demonstrate the value of the Special 301 process and Report to encourage meaningful improvement in IP and market access through a cooperative and open dialogue with our trading partners.
Canada is again listed as a country of concern, given the harm caused to the educational publishing sector by the undefined “education” as fair dealing exception. The detrimental effects of the overly-broad “education” exception have been clearly demonstrated, with a dramatic drop in previously reliable licensing revenue for publishers and authors. Educational publishers, and the consumers they serve are harmed by the further decline in the educational publishing sector in Canada.
The 2016 Special 301 Report from USTR will be available here.
Find the press release from the IIPA here.