Spain, Greece face epidemic of piracy

Int'l Antipiracy Caucus updated annual list

For the first time, Spain and Greece join usual suspects Russia, China, Canada and Mexico on a congressional list of countries with the highest levels of piracy.

The Intl. Antipiracy Caucus issued Thursday its annual list of countries “based on levels of piracy and the need for government intervention in lawmaking, enforcement and prosecution of intellectual property theft,” according to the Motion Picture Assn. of America, which supports the caucus.

The list is essentially Congress’ smaller-scale version of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s annual 301 Report. But unlike the 301 Report, the caucus list does not carry with it the authority directly to affect trade relations with any countries.

Still, the MPAA and the Recording Industry Assn. of America hailed the list, and Hollywood particularly emphasized the inclusion of Spain.

“The Spanish government’s persistent failure to address Spain’s epidemic Internet piracy problem, which is wreaking havoc on the legitimate market, has caused Spain to appear on the list,” the MPAA said.

The RIAA said: “Joining China and Russia in ‘the ignominious three’ is Canada, which, notwithstanding numerous public announcements, has failed to join the rest of its partners in the developed world in modernizing its copyright laws to address the challenges — and to seize the opportunities — of the digital age.”

On another piracy front, the RIAA had far less to cheer. A judge ruled that the org should pay attorney fees for Tanya Anderson, whom it unsuccessfully sued for online infringement; the judge recommended the amount of $107,834.

“While we respectfully disagree with the magistrate judge’s decision to award extraneous fees — including on counterclaims that the defendant herself brought and dropped — it is important to note this decision is only a recommendation and falls significantly short of defendant’s requests,” said RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth. “We will likely file an objection in short order.”

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