IACC and sports leagues recommend countries for piracy watch list


IACC and sports leagues recommend countries for piracy watch list

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An association of US sports leagues has recommended that the Netherlands and Switzerland be placed on the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) watch list in its “2018 Special 301 Report”.  

The Sports Coalition, which includes Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the United States Tennis Association, submitted comments along with the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) to the USTR. 

The USTR’s annually-published report reviews IP protection and enforcement abroad, and identifies challenges facing America’s innovative and creative industries in overseas markets.

In its submission, the Sports Coalition said that its members are “heavily affected” by live sports telecast piracy, including the unauthorised live retransmission of sports programmes over the internet.

The Sports Coalition believes that the pirate services and those complicit with them, such as content distribution networks and hosting services, are based in many nations including the Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sweden, Switzerland and the US. 

Because of this, the association is recommending that the Netherlands and Switzerland be placed on the priority watch list, and Russia, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles and Sweden be placed on the watch list. 

The IACC, an organisation dedicated to combating counterfeiting and piracy, recommended ten countries for inclusion on the priority watch list and 13 on the watch list. 

“It will surely come as no surprise to USTR that China remains the country of highest priority for IACC members this year, as in countless years past,” said the submission. 

The IACC said that the trafficking of counterfeit goods online has become an increasing concern in China, which is “perhaps more troubling because enforcement agencies and prosecutors are seen as failing to evolve and keep pace with the changing business models”. 

India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Ukraine, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico were the other nine countries that the IACC recommended be placed on the USTR’s list. 

China’s Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) requested that it be allowed to provide testimony at a public hearing in front of the report’s committee. 

The chamber said that most of the concerns that the US government has about China’s IP rights protection are either common challenges faced by many countries, or have been/are being effectively resolved in China, or arise out of misunderstanding. 

“Like the US government, the Chinese government attach importance to IP protection. Like the US companies, Chinese companies, including CCOIC’s members, treasure innovation,” said the chamber’s prepared hearing statement. 

IACC, sports, International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, piracy, watch list, US Trade Representative, NBA, NBL, counterfeits

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