Five on US piracy list

24 May 2002

Five Arab states figure in the latest Special 301 list, the annual report issued by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) on global intellectual property protection. Both Egypt and Lebanon remain on the priority watchlist, while Qatar has joined Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on the general watchlist. The UAE has been removed altogether from the list due to its efforts in combating piracy. Fifty-one countries appear on the list.

In its 2001 report, the USTR says that Egypt has not enacted modern intellectual property legislation to comply with its international obligations, although it adds that it has been encouraged by reports that the laws may be passed soon. Lebanon is taken to task over its severe copyright piracy problem and the lack of action by the government to enforce its own copyright laws.

Kuwait remains on the general watchlist due to continuing concerns about copyright piracy. After a year off the list, Qatar is back on, due to draft amendments to its copyright laws not being signed or implemented. While Saudi Arabia is commended for the progress it has made in enforcing intellectual property rights, the USTR says that high losses continue to be experienced by US copyright and trademark-based industries.

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