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Every year, the US Trade Representative (USTR) prepares a Special 301 Report that cites specific countries for insufficient enforcement of intellectual property and inadequate IP laws. Over the years, these reports have turned into an annual exercise of naming countries whose domestic IP policies do not meet the unrealistic expectations of IP rights holders.
Public Knowledge’s Position
Typically, the Report places blind reliance on rights holder assertions; it ignores the need for balanced copyright; it cites countries based on vague criteria; and it pressures countries to sign international agreements that don’t currently bind them and that these countries possibly consider detrimental to their national interest.
Public Knowledge calls for transparency and accountability in the process, as well as a more balanced perspective on copyright in the Report.
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