Following suit of the US, the European Union is planning to draw up its own list of countries with serious intellectual property rights deficiencies. The list aimed at encouraging fight against piracy is based on polling survey of interested parties and might have implications for economic relationships among the countries. The a.m. initiative is part of the EC strategy , called ”Balanced IP Enforcement System” proclaimed as far back as November 2017. Viewed as a threat to Europe’s industry as a whole, piracy prevents investments and employment in creative spheres. According to the data provided by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) the global trade in pirated and counterfeited products accounts for €338 bln; 5% of goods imported in the EU worth €85 bln are counterfeited or pirated.
It is in January 2018 that Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its latest annual “Special 301” Report which sure affects the US general stance, commercial including, on foreign states. The EU list will proceed similarly as the relevant US document also contributing to the Brussels position on different countries.
The USTR reports do not usually cover the US based sites. That is what is highlighted by the sites mentioned in the so-called “notorious” listings. For example Alibaba, a Chinese site, publicly responds to the accusations: “What about Amazon, e-bay and others. USTR has no basis for comparison, because it does not ask for similar data from the US companies.” Unlike the USTR report, the planned European “antipiracy” listing would cover US market places, too . “The listing will name and describe most challenging markets with special emphasis on online piracy so as to motivate the market players and site owners as well as local authorities and governments to take appropriate steps and restrict access to products and services infringing IP rights”.
The EC official site promises to closely watch measures taken by authorities on a country-by-country basis with the aim to fight piracy. The listing, however, would not be viewed as a legal document, i.e. the fact of being listed as “notorious”, i.e. habitual IP infringer can’t be used as judicial evidence.
The US site addresses copyright and related right holders requesting their contributions to the European piracy listing and thus to send the relevant data by March 31,2018. The first European antipiracy list will be released in 2018.