Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take
I’ll be watching you
Every move you make
And every vow you break
Every smile you fake, every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you
~ The Police
The really bad characters for trampling intellectual property rights were covered in the last few posts. Those are the countries that do enough to gain entry to the Priority Watch List established by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in its 2012 Special 301 Report to Congress. The next level down in “badness” is simply the Watch List for which the 2012 winners are:
Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
Hardly an exclusive group. And Paraguay needs to step its game up because it only qualifies for the third level of badness: the Monitoring list. As if Washington isn’t monitoring everybody but itself anyway.
USTR offers few details of what these countries have done to gain their distinction (China has stolen most of the space), usually referring to obtuse improvements needed in legislation. Leakage of trade secrets for pharmaceuticals while foreign drugs are in an approval process keeps popping up. The prevalence of this complaint makes one wonder at the effort the American pharmaceutical industry puts into complaining in Washington. They aren’t alone, of course. The Special 301 Report also has a continuous undertone of complaints from the music, publishing, film and television industries. Selling pirated goods on the Internet seems to be a universal issue, probably because this is an industry with almost no barriers to entry.
USTR recounts problems with collecting music royalties in Brunei from local broadcasters. Counterfeit medical products are a concern in Egypt. But camcording of new motion pictures in Filipino theaters has been cut. No mention of fake smiles.