RIAA Targets Spain, Canada, for Piracy Watch List

The Recording Industry Association of America and its partners at the International Intellectual Property Alliance recently submitted their ‘piracy watchlist’ recommendations to the Office of the US Trade Representative. The RIAA pointed to two countries as being the worst of the worst when it comes to intellectual property theft: Spain and our comrades to the north – Canada.

This is particularly interesting because this week Spain passed a tough new law to combat piracy. The Sinde law (nicknamed for its sponsor) is aimed at shutting down file-sharing sites that traffic in illegal downloads. Even though the public and some in the Spanish movie industry opposed the law, it will become the rule of the land by summer, says TorrentFreak. But the RIAA claims this is just a baby step and that even more needs to be done to combat theft.

In their advice to the US Trade Representative, the groups included Spain in the Priority Watch List, the highest category for countries that are considered to be ‘piracy havens’. Spain is joined by Canada, Russia and China. All of these countries are considered major threats to the US entertainment industries.

These new recommendations from the RIAA will be considered by the USTR when it prepares its annual Special 301 Report. The report identifies countries that "obstruct or deny proper copyright enforcement." The RIAA recommended Spain because "file-sharing sites have been ruled as operating within the boundaries of the law."

“The sky-high Internet piracy levels in Spain can be attributed to government policies that have created an Internet-wide safe harbor for infringing activities. Spanish enforcement authorities have established the de facto decriminalization of illegal downloading of content distributed via P2P file-sharing,” the RIAA argues.

Another issue the RIAA wants addressed by Spain is the lack of ability to identify and report copyright infringers: "Spain’s laws fail to meet the minimum requirements of the EU E-Commerce Directive regarding liability for ISPs, or to establish the necessary tools to obtain the identity of the direct infringer," the group claims.

Canada is another candidate for the 2011 priority watch list, according to the RIAA, because of Canada’s slow progress on revising their copyright laws. The RIAA calls our neighbor to the north "home to some of the world’s most popular illegitimate Internet sites, including illegitimate P2P download and streaming sites."

The RIAA and IIPA recommendations include Canada, Spain and 11 other countries on the priority watch list of the 2011 Special 301 Report. We will see who makes the cut in a couple of weeks.

Source: TorrentFreak

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  1. 0
    DorthLous says:

    Dear RIAA,

    From my friends, family and myself, both here in Canada and in your own lands, we wish to tell you a great big f**k you. Kindly go die in a corner, your time has passed. You are neither a good defender for your industries nor a positive force for the consumers.

    Thank you.

  2. 0
    SpencerRuler says:

    Having the RIAA saying to us "We’re watching you, Canada" isn’t scary, it’s creepy. Like that old man in Family Guy.


    Living in Canada can be a very good thing, you know. We enjoy the universal healthcare and gun-free environment of an European country while getting all of our games released at the same time as in the US.

  3. 0
    FlakAttack says:

    Haha, I remember the Progressive Conservative response to Canada being added to the list. It translated into a very polite "Screw you". Then they bumped up funding to filming done in Canada and  turned away the idea of charging people a fee on all recordable media (including MP3 players, USB memory, hard drives, etc).

  4. 0
    SpiralGray says:

    Normally I try to post something a little more mature, but the only response I can think of to this article is…

    I invite the RIAA to kiss my maple leaf clad ass. 

  5. 0
    DorkmasterFlek says:

    Indeed.  Fortunately, our politicians are at least on record as saying that they basically ignore the US 301 list because it’s made up by Big Content themselves.  The current copyright bill on the table in Canada will likely die if we end up in a federal election in the spring (again), but we’re making much better progress towards a balanced bill.

  6. 0
    SimonBob says:

    "All of these countries are considered major threats to the US entertainment industries."

    I find this unintentionally hilarious, because Hollywood went out of their way in the early days of film to keep Canada from building its own industry.  In other countries, national cinema accounts for as much as 20% of the screentime; up here it’s something like 5%.  But now, with their economy in a nosedive, they’re scared to death that more and more upstart production companies will move up here to shoot in Calgary and Toronto.

    Payback’s a bitch, America. >:D


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