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April 27, 2018 | International

Trump Administration Highlights Stream-Ripping, Canada’s Deficient Copyright Protection in New Special 301 Report

WASHINGTON – Today the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual Special 301 Report, which details U.S. intellectual property rights (IPR) priorities and concerns in foreign countries.  Today’s report takes on many of the challenges facing the music community around the world, from weak copyright protection to inadequate enforcement against piracy.  Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman offered the following comment on the report:

“Today’s Special 301 Report provides a critical blueprint for U.S. engagement on music community priorities around the world.  Placing Canada on the Priority Watch List, for example, sends a clear signal regarding the crucial significance of including strong copyright protections in NAFTA.  Canada’s flawed safe harbors, which provide over-broad loopholes for Internet platforms that make pirated music widely available, continue to rank among the top threats to the U.S. music community in Canada.  As the report also highlighted, Canada’s deficient copyright system also unfairly discriminates against American performers and record companies by excluding them from any copyright protection when their music is played on the radio, even though their Canadian counterparts enjoy such protections.  We strongly support the U.S. government’s efforts to address these Special 301 priorities in the NAFTA negotiations.”

“For the first time in a Special 301 report, the Administration explicitly highlights the harm caused by stream-ripping piracy in a dedicated section, stating the activity causes ‘substantial economic harm to music creators and undermining legitimate online services.’  We could not agree more. We continue to welcome the Administration’s focus on key challenges like stream-ripping that not only confront copyright holders, but threaten the legitimacy and sustainability of digital trade.

“RIAA is particularly grateful to the USTR and interagency team for its tireless work to produce yet another high-quality Special 301 Report that commits to promoting copyright protection and enforcement around the world, including the rejection of loopholes that diminish protections such as flawed safe harbors and over-broad exceptions.  We look forward to working with USTR and other U.S. government colleagues to build on the momentum started by the Special 301 Report.”

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Cara Duckworth Weiblinger
Jonathan Lamy
Liz Kennedy
(202) 775-0101