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2016 Notorious Markets List Spotlights Fight against Global Piracy and Counterfeiting of American Products

Washington, D.C.United States Trade Representative Michael Froman today announced the findings of the Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets for 2016, which highlights specific physical and online markets around the world that are reported to be engaging in and facilitating substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.  This activity harms the American economy by undermining the innovation and intellectual property rights (IPR) of American businesses and their workers.  The publication of the Notorious Markets List (List) helps the United States and foreign governments prioritize IPR enforcement efforts that protect job-supporting innovation and creativity in the United States and around the world.  

“Tens of millions of American jobs and several trillion dollars of our gross domestic product rely on American creative and innovative industries,” said Ambassador Michael Froman.  “The marketplaces, tactics, and schemes that undermine and threaten America’s creative industries change quickly and require our constant attention. Our Notorious Markets List highlights key examples of online and physical markets all over the world that are linked to significant infringement of American businesses’ intellectual property rights.  The 2016 List takes stock of emerging infringement models and adds stream-ripping sites and piracy apps to the list of the most damaging digital marketplaces.”

“This Notorious Markets List illustrates the seriousness of copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting in online marketplaces,” said Froman. “The 2016 List underscores the need for accountable governments everywhere to take on these forms of piracy and counterfeiting at every stage of the global supply chain to prevent final products that put health and safety of end-consumers at risk.”   

The United States encourages all responsible authorities to intensify efforts to combat piracy and counterfeiting, and to use the information contained in the Notorious Markets List to pursue legal actions where appropriate.  Following the release of the 2015 List last December, some market owners and operators have made notable efforts to address the widespread availability of pirated or counterfeit goods in their markets.  The United States commends these efforts and urges all relevant markets and governments to build on this progress.

The 2016 Notorious Markets List maintains its special focus on the distribution of pirated content and counterfeit goods online.  Online pirate sites and emerging piracy models such as stream-ripping and piracy apps were noted with growing concern by copyright holders in the United States. Counterfeiters continue to take advantage of the popularity of online shopping to distribute counterfeit goods via small parcels which now comprise the most popular method of counterfeit shipment worldwide.

To read the full report, which also includes examples of previously-identified Notorious Markets that have taken meaningful steps to address piracy and counterfeiting, click here

Additional Background Information about the Notorious Markets List

USTR has identified notorious markets in the Special 301 Report since 2006.  In 2010, the Obama Administration announced that it would elevate the profile of the Notorious Markets List by publishing it separately from the Special 301 Report, to increase public awareness and guide related trade and other enforcement actions.  USTR published the first stand-alone Notorious Markets List in February 2011 as an “Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets” and has published a list for every year since. 

The Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets identifies particularly infamous markets and does not constitute an exhaustive list of all markets reported to deal in pirated or counterfeit goods around the world.  Nor does it reflect findings of legal violations or the U.S. Government’s analysis of the general IPR protection and enforcement climate in the country concerned; such analysis is contained in the annual Special 301 Report issued at the end of April.

Today’s announcement concludes the 2016 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets, which was initiated on August 25, 2016, through publication in the Federal Register of a request for public comments.  The Notorious Markets List was developed by the U.S. Government agencies represented on the USTR-chaired Special 301 Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) based on information received in response to the Federal Register request.  The request for comments and the public’s responses can be viewed online at www.regulations.gov, Docket number USTR-2016-0013.  Information about Special 301, the TPSC process, and other trade issues is available at www.ustr.gov