WASHINGTON – China and Russia continue to lead in this year's International Piracy Watch List. Canada,Mexico and Malaysia follow close behind.
At a news conference Thursday held in the U.S. Capitol the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus revealed the top five countries where the making and selling of illegal copies of movies,music and books is the most prevalent.
In a press release,the Recording Industry Association of America said an estimated $18 billion is lost in sales annually due to global piracy.
It has been an issue in China due to the country's lax copyright infringement laws. In China alone,an estimated $2.2 billion in revenue was lost due to piracy in 2006,according to the caucus.
Since late 2006,Russia has been trying to get into the World Trade Organization. But it before it can,it must enforce copyright law and make reducing piracy a priority. According to the anti-piracy caucus,an estimated 65 percent to 85 percent of creative works distributed in Russia are pirated. Rep. Adam B. Schiff,D-Calif.,added that Russia is home to one of the largest Internet pirate site – allofmp3.com.
“Each day that this Web site and others are permitted to continue is another day that Russia has failed to live up to its promises,” Schiff said. “Russia should not be permitted to join the WTO,until they could demonstrate their commitment to intellectual property protection.”
Patricia S. Schroeder,president of the Association of American Publishers Inc.,also talked about the reality of book pirating in China.
“In China,we're finding that universities take everything we've got,” Shroeder said. “Everybody feels very free to take it.”
Canadian copyright laws have not been updated to include the changes in technology over the past decade. Therefore,Rep. Bob Goodlatte,R-Va.,said,criminals have not been deterred from the illegal activity.
Goodlatte said recordings from movie theater screens are a growing problem in Canada. The recordings are sold before the movie is released on DVD.
“Illicit camcording in Canada is growing astronomically,and infringing camcorded works are increasingly being exported to foreign markets,” Goodlatte said. “We strongly encourage Canada to criminalize camcording and provide penalties severe enough to deter this prevalent and frequent activity.”
Malaysia and Mexico have the same problems. Neither has been enforcing copyright laws,according to the caucus. However,the U.S. is encouraging Mexico to train judges to deal with the issue properly.
With Amazon's decision this week to offer music without digital rights management,it may become harder for countries to control this growing problem of piracy.