International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus
The Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus, which was originally formed in 2003, is made up of over 65 Members of Congress. The goal of the Caucus is to provide briefings for congressional delegations traveling to countries with significant piracy problems, staff and member briefings and forums on international intellectual property protection and piracy, demonstrations of new technologies and products designed to improve consumers’ entertainment experiences and to reduce piracy and to work closely with the committees of jurisdiction in the House and Senate on related hearings and legislation. The caucus is now known as the International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus.
The advent of digital technology holds the promise of a golden age for movies, music, video games and other forms of entertainment. More new devices for watching, listening to, recording, sharing and saving music and movies have emerged in the last decade than in the previous 100 years. And these technologies are a key to American economic growth: indeed, the combined copyright industries – movies, home video and television programming, music, books, video games and software – generate more revenues than any other single manufacturing sector, including automobiles and auto parts, aircraft and agriculture. According to a report from the International Intellectual Property Alliance, core copyright industries employed 5.1 million Americans in 2010 in jobs that paid 27 percent more than the average wage. These industries remain some of our most internationally competitive, collectively ranking as the second largest exporting sector in the U.S.
Disturbingly, however, an explosion in piracy and a diminution in copyright protection have accompanied these exciting new advances in entertainment technology. Organized crime has become heavily involved in foreign DVD and CD piracy. Criminals are using the same formidable distribution network and resources that were developed for drug trafficking and arms smuggling. The result, in these and other countries, is a virtual evisceration of the legitimate market for American entertainment.
In an effort to combat international copyright piracy by calling attention to countries where piracy has reached alarming levels, the Caucus announced the “2014 International Piracy Watch List.” They will closely monitor the serious problems of copyright piracy in the following four countries: China, Russia, India, and Switzerland.
The Caucus also highlights positive developments in two nations, Italy and the Philippines, both of which have longstanding issues with the protection of creative works. In light of the reforms undertaken and a greater commitment to enforcing the law, both nations were removed from the Special 301 Report for the first time in its 25 year history.
Co-Chairs: Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
To read the full report on the 2014 Congressional Anti-Piracy Caucus Watch List, please click here.