European nations on US copyright watchlist

Copyright piracy in the EU is still seen as a problem by the US:

The countries placed on a lower-level watch list were Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, South Korea, Kuwait, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Hungary will remain on the Watch List in 2007. Although Hungary has improved its IPR regime over the past several years, additional improvements are necessary. The United States commends Hungary for forming an Inter-Ministerial Task Force in 2006 to address IPR issues, comprising representatives from the Hungarian Government and the private sector. Copyright piracy in Hungary continues to grow, especially related to the Internet. Enforcement deficiencies include prosecutorial delays, judicial imposition of non- deterrent sentences, and weak border enforcement. The United States urges Hungary to provide an effective coordination system between its health and patent authorities to prevent the issuance of marketing approvals for patent-infringing pharmaceutical products. The United States will continue to work with the Hungarian Government to address these IPR concerns.

Italy will remain on the Watch List for 2007. The United States notes that Italy increased cooperation between its government agencies and the private sector in 2006, as well as expressed renewed interest in working more closely with the United States to improve IPR protection and enforcement in Italy. However, the U.S. copyright industries report that Italy maintains one of the highest overall piracy rates in Western Europe. Italy made some progress in 2006 through increased raids, seizures, and arrests of IPR infringers, notably through enforcement actions by the Guardia di Finanza, but there continues to be inadequate judicial awareness of IPR infringement as a serious crime and therefore a lack of judicial imposition of deterrent fines and jail sentences for criminal copyright and trademark infringers. The United States continues to observe wide variations in the effectiveness of IPR enforcement activities within Italy, particularly in the courts. The U.S. copyright industries report continuing high rates of copyright piracy in Italy, especially on the Internet. The United States urges Italy to make IPR enforcement a top priority, commit high-level support for IPR enforcement, provide deterrent IPR
enforcement through increased convictions and jail sentences, dedicate more resources for law enforcement and the judiciary, and implement a plan to combat Internet piracy. The United States will continue to work with Italy on these issues, with the goal of improving IPR protection and enforcement.


Lithuania will remain on the Watch List in 2007. Lithuania increased its engagement with the United States during 2006 and made progress by closing down the notorious pirate website www.piratic.org. Despite these and other IPR improvements this past year, IPR issues remain, including the need for sustained IPR enforcement actions and improved border enforcement to curb the transshipment of pirated optical media through Lithuania. Because Lithuania serves as a transshipment point in the Baltic region for mostly Russian-produced optical media, the United States urges Lithuanian customs officials to make more frequent use of their ex officio authority to inspect and seize infringing goods at the border. The United States encourages Lithuania to continue its cooperative enforcement efforts with the private sector in the monitoring of optical disc production in Lithuania. The United States also encourages Lithuania to increase its
efforts to coordinate IPR enforcement actions among relevant government ministries, police, and customs officials. The United States will continue to work with Lithuania to strengthen its IPR regime.

Poland will remain on the Watch List in 2007. Despite improvements in cooperation between the Polish Government and the private sector on IPR issues, the United States is concerned that Poland did not make significant progress on IPR protection or enforcement efforts this past year. For example, Poland drastically cut its support for the National Police Intellectual Property and Computer Crime Unit, which had previously been responsible for an increase in the numbers of raids, seizures, and prosecutions against IPR infringers. Due to a reported shift in priorities, IPR enforcement efforts remained weak in Poland during the past year. The United States urges Poland to give increased attention to IPR protection and enforcement, including by strengthening border enforcement, eliminating delays in bringing prosecutions, addressing piracy on the Internet, and ensuring that courts impose deterrent sentences for IPR infringement. The United States also encourages Poland to strengthen enforcement legislation to combat piracy and counterfeiting. The United States is also concerned by Poland’s inadequate protection against unfair commercial use for pharmaceutical data generated to obtain marketing approval. The United States encourages Poland to commit its resources and attention to increasing IPR protection and enforcement over the next year.


Romania will remain on the Watch List in 2007. Romania improved coordination between law enforcement authorities and the private sector this past year. The U.S. copyright industries report that optical disc piracy decreased in Romania in 2006, but Internet piracy in the country increased, spurred by peer-to-peer networks and weak IPR enforcement. The United States encourages Romania to improve its IPR enforcement efforts, including ensuring that prosecutions are completed in a timely manner and that courts impose deterrent sentences against IPR infringers.