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U.S. hammers Canada, other countries over copyright protections

April 30, 2012 |  1:28 pm

Canada may be the United States' largest trading partner, but it remains on a "priority watch list" of countries with the worst records for protecting copyrighted material, according to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk's office
Canada may be the United States' largest trading partner, but it remains on a "priority watch list" of countries with the worst records for protecting copyrighted material.

In its 2012 annual report on trade barriers and content theft, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk's office put Canada on a list of 13 countries -- including India, China, Pakistan and Russia -- that were singled out as the worst offenders.

The office said it was waiting to see if Canada would enact "long-awaited copyright legislation" and suggested that the country needs to take more steps to tighten border security by "providing customs officials with ex-officio authority to take action against the importation, exportation, and trans-shipment of pirated or counterfeit goods."

Under the category of "positive developments," Kirk's office removed Malaysia and Spain from the watch list, citing improvements to strengthen copyright protections in those countries.

Christopher Dodd, chairman and chief executive of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, commended the trade representative's office for its report, which he said "highlights content theft and barriers in foreign markets that pose threats to the continued growth of U.S. creative industries and the U.S. economy. Strong copyright protection and enforcement are vital to our industry's ability to create U.S. jobs, grow our own economy, and expand U.S. exports."

A copy of report can be found here.

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Photo: U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk delivers a speech at Singapore Management University on April 26. Credit: Roslan Rahman / AFP/Getty Images

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