Anti-piracy group targets the Ukraine

The IIPA, a coalition representing copyright-based industries in the US, filed its recommendations to US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick as part of the USTR's "Special 301" review of copyright piracy and market access problems around the world. As top priorities in its latest report, the IIPA called for a crack down on the abuse of optical media (CDs, CD-ROMs and DVDs), tackling piracy on the Internet and promoting the use of legal software for governments and businesses worldwide.

As part of its optical media concerns, the IIPA said Ukraine is the largest producer and exporter in Central and Eastern Europe of illegal types of optical media products containing copyrighted US works.

The USTR earlier this year said it would designate Ukraine as a Priority Foreign Country if it doesn't meet with certain requirements by 1 March, and the IIPA said Friday it supports such a designation. When a country is deemed a Priority Foreign Country it means the USTR could launch an investigation of its policies and practices within 30 days, which in turn could lead to trade sanctions.

"Ukraine's pirate material is flooding other countries and disrupting the already vulnerable markets throughout all of Europe," the IIPA said in a statement. "Losses to the music industry alone have been over $US200 million annually for the past several years."

The IIPA also urged the USTR to continue its examinations of piracy in China and Paraguay. The group asked that both countries be checked to ensure copyright compliance.

The countries already on the USTR's Priority Watch List are Argentina, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea and Turkey. The IIPA urged for the following countries also to be added to the list: Brazil, Cost Rica, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uruguay.

The IIPA's membership includes the Recording Industry Association of America, The National Music Publishers' Association, the Business Software Alliance, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), the Association of American Publishers and AFMA, formerly known as the American Film Marketing Association.

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