US Trade Representative puts Canada on piracy watch list


First, let's clarify that we're talking about media piracy, not seafaring piracy. If you were expecting buckles to be swashed, you can look elsewhere. So, the news then: The office of United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk has elevated Canada to its "Priority Watch List" in the 2009 Special 301 Report, which covers "the adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection by U.S. trading partners." This marks the first time that Canada has been on the list, which, according to the report, reflects "increasing concern about the continuing need for copyright reform, as well as continuing concern about weak border enforcement."

The Entertainment Software Association, unsurprisingly, has cheered the report, with GamePolitics reporting that CEO Michael Gallagher called the act "a signal of the Obama Administration's commitment to strengthening global intellectual property protection, and its intent to address this issue firmly with the Canadian government." He adds that Canada's "weak laws" aid game piracy and "pave the way for unlawful imports into the U.S."

The ESA has numerous hopes for the Canadian government, such as the outlawing of mod chips and "game copiers." Additionally, the organization would like to see "legal incentives" for internet service providers to fight piracy, border seizures of pirated games and more focus on prosecuting intellectual property crimes.

Strangely absent from the list: Sweden.

Source - USTR -- USTR Releases 2009 Special 301 Report
Source - GamePolitics -- ESA Cheers as Obama Administration Spanks Canada

This article was originally published on Joystiq.