USTR Releases Special 301 Report

The USTR this morning released the 2007 Special 301 Report, its annual report card that features the U.S. perspective on intellectual property protection in dozens of countries around the world.  Despite some thought that the U.S. might elevate Canada from its Watch List to the Priority Watch List, no such change occurred.  China and Russia garner the lion share of attention, with Thailand the only country "elevated" to the Priority Watch List. 

Canada remains where it has been for years – one of many countries that the U.S. would like to see do more on IP protection.  The focal point of the Canadian comments is unsurprisingly WIPO Internet treaty ratification, camcording, and counterfeiting.  I have obviously already said a lot about each of these issues in print (WIPO, camcording, counterfeiting) and before Parliamentary committees (I appear before the Industry Committee on these issues this week) so need not repeat it here.  However, since the U.S. report concludes its comments on Canada by stating:

The United States will continue to monitor Canada's progress in providing an adequate and effective IPR protection regime that is consistent with its international obligation and its advanced level of economic development, including improved border enforcement, near term ratification and implementation of the WIPO Internet Treaties, and efforts to stop unauthorized camcording of films in movie theaters."

it is worth emphasizing again that Canada already meets its international obligations on copyright on each of the issues identified by the USTR.


  1. “effective IPR protection regime that is consistent with its international obligation”
    – So Canada can continue to do nothing since we have no ‘international obligations’?

    -I’d much rather see Canada pass laws that benefit the artists and creators not the multinational companies that IMHO do nothing more than ‘steal’ from artists. Yes I am aware there are rich artists, it’s like advertising for the multinationals. ‘Look see what we did for performer X? We can make you rich too… just sign on the dotted line, what a lawyer, no need for that we are artists friendly.’

  2. Rationale behind reducing copyright in B
    Hey Michael, have you seen this report yet?

    [ link ]

    Andrew Gowers, former head of the Financial Times, led a UK inquiry into intellectual property rights last year and concluded (among many other things) that musical copyrights should not be extended from their current 50-year length to 95 years. Now, in an interview, Gowers says that the economic data he saw even supported reducing the 50 year term, but that political realities prevented him from recommending this.

    When is Britain going to end up on the US corporations’ (er…I mean government’s) blacklist? Truly funny, since Britain was some of the originators of copyright..