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MPAA, RIAA List Worse Piracy Offenders

20 May, 2010 By: John Latchem

With the aid of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the U.S. Congress’ International Anti-Piracy Caucus (IAPC) May 19 unveiled a list of the six most notorious websites used for piracy of movies, music and other copyrighted works, as well as five countries deemed to have inadequate intellectual-property protections.

The IAPC is a bipartisan joint committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate that was created in 2003 to protect American intellectual property and fight overseas piracy.

The watch-list of “Top Priority Countries” includes China, Russia, Mexico, Canada and Spain.

“The increasing scourge of online copyright theft underscores the need for all governments to develop and vigorously enforce effective legislative solutions to address online piracy and to encourage greater inter-industry cooperation in the fight against it,” said MPAA president and interim CEO Bob Pisano. “A high level of piracy, especially as seen in the countries on the watch list, is detrimental to any country’s economic growth.”

Pisano said Canada “lacks the basic protections for the digital environment and is a safe haven for Internet pirates.” He said Internet piracy in Spain has “reached an epidemic level,” but noted pending legislation could address the issue in the European nation.

The most-notorious websites include China’s Baidu, Canada’s IsoHunt, Ukraine’s mp3fiesta, Germany’s RapidShare, Luxembourg’s RMX4U.com and Sweden’s The Pirate Bay.

While The Pirate Bay is among the oldest and most-used of the sites, a RIAA statement referred to Baidu as the most egregious, since the Chinese company is publicly traded and has an easy-to-use search engine that links to illegal free copies of music. The RIAA estimates that Baidu provides about half of all pirated music content in China.

RIAA chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol praised the efforts, as well as a recent court ruling against file-sharing service LimeWire, which he called “the most significant theft machine” in the United States.

To underscore how piracy affects economic growth and undercuts the ability of legitimate services to compete in a global marketplace, the RIAA cited an International Intellectual Property Alliance study that concluded copyright-related industries in the United States employ more than 11 million workers.

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