US highlights Notorious Markets
December 23, 2016
By Colin Mann
United States Trade Representative Michael Froman has revealed the findings of the Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets for 2016, which highlights specific physical and online markets around the world that are reported to be engaging in and facilitating substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting. This activity harms the American economy by undermining the innovation and intellectual property rights (IPR) of American businesses and their workers. The publication of the Notorious Markets List (List) helps the United States and foreign governments prioritise IPR enforcement efforts that protect job-supporting innovation and creativity in the United States and around the world.
“Tens of millions of American jobs and several trillion dollars of our gross domestic product rely on American creative and innovative industries,” said Ambassador Michael Froman. “The marketplaces, tactics, and schemes that undermine and threaten America’s creative industries change quickly and require our constant attention. Our Notorious Markets List highlights key examples of online and physical markets all over the world that are linked to significant infringement of American businesses’ intellectual property rights. The 2016 List takes stock of emerging infringement models and adds stream-ripping sites and piracy apps to the list of the most damaging digital marketplaces.”
“This Notorious Markets List illustrates the seriousness of copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting in online marketplaces,” said Froman. “The 2016 List underscores the need for accountable governments everywhere to take on these forms of piracy and counterfeiting at every stage of the global supply chain to prevent final products that put health and safety of end-consumers at risk.”
The United States encourages all responsible authorities to intensify efforts to combat piracy and counterfeiting, and to use the information contained in the Notorious Markets List to pursue legal actions where appropriate. Following the release of the 2015 List in December 2015, some market owners and operators have made notable efforts to address the widespread availability of pirated or counterfeit goods in their markets. The United States commends these efforts and urges all relevant markets and governments to build on this progress.
The 2016 Notorious Markets List maintains its special focus on the distribution of pirated content and counterfeit goods online. Online pirate sites and emerging piracy models such as stream-ripping and piracy apps were noted with growing concern by copyright holders in the United States. Counterfeiters continue to take advantage of the popularity of online shopping to distribute counterfeit goods via small parcels which now comprise the most popular method of counterfeit shipment worldwide.
USTR has identified notorious markets in the Special 301 Report since 2006. In 2010, the Obama Administration announced that it would elevate the profile of the Notorious Markets List by publishing it separately from the Special 301 Report, to increase public awareness and guide related trade and other enforcement actions.
The Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets identifies particularly infamous markets and does not constitute an exhaustive list of all markets reported to deal in pirated or counterfeit goods around the world.