WASHINGTON, DC — December 17, 2012 —
US Trade Representative Ron Kirk on Thursday released the US government’s 2012 “notorious markets” report, highlighting online and physical markets around the world where piracy and counterfeiting are rampant. The report shows instances of modest progress, but also cause for significant concern about the continuing prevalence of online software piracy.
Notably, the Chinese auction website Taobao — one of the world’s most heavily trafficked e-commerce sites — has been removed from USTR’s “notorious markets” list in recognition of the fact that it has begun working with some right holders to curb sales of illegally copied products.
But the report specifically notes that to remain off the list Taobao must “further streamline procedures for submitting and responding to notifications to decrease the time required for taking down listings of counterfeit and pirated goods.” The site also must “continue its efforts to work with and achieve a satisfactory outcome with US rights holders and industry associations,” including the software industry, the report said. USTR further calls on software and other affected industries to report back soon on progress in these efforts.
“We commend USTR for continuing to make the fight against online piracy a top priority,” said Jodie Kelley, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Anti-Piracy for BSA | The Software Alliance. “The ‘notorious markets’ report is a key tool for highlighting both the scope of the problem and the places where enforcement resources should be targeted.”
Among those still listed as “notorious markets” were BitTorrent indexing sites such as ThePirateBay — which has ranked among the top websites in US and global traffic — and BitTorrent trackers such as Rutracker, which has been among Russia’s most-visited sites.
“Some of these of sites are purpose-built to flout international laws,” said Kelley. “When it comes to software, they also hurt end users by increasing the chance they will be exposed to identity theft, viruses, and other malicious attacks.”
BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.