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Publishers Submit Copyright Concerns to U.S. Trade Office

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February 15 – February 22, 2007 Edition

Publishers Submit

Copyright Concerns

to U.S. Trade Office

WASHINGTON, DC/2/13/07–The Association of American Publishers (AAP), joined with six other copyright-related trade associations to submit its annual Special 301 Report to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. The report, completed under the umbrella of the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), details copyright piracy and related intellectual property rights and market access problems around the world.

This year’s report highlights copyright protection and enforcement problems in 61 countries and territories, and recommends that 47 of them be placed on an appropriate USTR “watch list.” The U.S. Trade Representative is required by statute to conduct an annual review, undertaken each spring, of intellectual property protection worldwide and the report was prepared pursuant to that mandated review. USTR places countries and territories on appropriate watch lists based upon their ineffectiveness in dealing with intellectual property theft. Global piracy continues to be a serious problem for the copyright industries, and the unwillingness of the countries identified to curb piracy costs the U.S. economy high paying jobs and undermines U.S. economic growth.

In the report, the IIPA asks that China be placed on the Priority Watch List again this year. While AAP has engaged with China on many fronts over the past year with the result that the Chinese government has paid attention to our issues, the various campaigns and enforcement actions have had too little deterrent effect in the marketplace and piracy rates remain at unacceptable levels. The report also recommends that 17 other countries be placed on the Priority Watch List, including India, Russia, Mexico, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey and Canada. The report recommends that 28 countries/territories be placed or kept on the Watch List. The report also requests Special 301 out-of-cycle reviews for Russia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Pakistan and Switzerland. While IIPA reports serious piracy or law reform problems in twelve additional countries, it is not recommended that these countries be placed on a Special 301 list. IIPA has also identified outstanding free trade agreement implementation issues with four FTA partners: Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco and Singapore.

AAP, as a member of the IIPA, submits specific recommendations as they relate to the publishing industry as part of the annual review. AAP estimates losses to U.S. book publishers at $582.5 million in 2006, as a result of continued commercial scale photocopying, illegal print runs, unauthorized translations and CD-R burning of book text. AAP President and CEO Pat Schroeder said that: “The Special 301 process gives us an opportunity to look at the global piracy picture and to see that piracy of copyrighted materials, including books and journals in all forms, hurts the industries that play such an important role in the U.S. economy. We are encouraged by the level of attention paid to book piracy this year in the People’s Republic of China. We also appreciate the engagement of U.S. and foreign governments on intellectual property protection issues as part of bilateral dialogues not only in China, but in places such as India, Pakistan, South Korea and Malaysia. However, piracy rates in these and many other countries continue to threaten the viability of both local and foreign creative industries, and market access barriers in places like China exacerbate the problem. AAP looks forward to continued work on these important issues during 2007 and beyond, and the Special 301 process gives all of us an opportunity to define the paths before us.”

The full report can be accessed 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 societies­small and large. 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.