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USTR: Streaming Video Is Chinese's Favorite Piracy Ploy

U.S. government is urging
the Chinese government to crack down on illegal video streaming sites, which it
says have become the "preferred" method for watching illegal content.

That is according to the latest annual 301

from the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The report is an
annual review of the state of intellectual property rights around the globe,
this year including "troubling "indigenous innovation" policies
in China -- one of the
countries on the USTR's "priority
watch" list -- that could disadvantage U.S. copyright holders.

"China's Internet users are
increasingly turning to streaming media to watch foreign television shows and
movies," said the report. "While it appears that a number of user
generated content sites have eliminated most of their pirated content, these
streaming sites have become the preferred method to watch illegal
content," it said. "The United States urges the Chinese
Government to focus on these streaming sites, and to prevent illegal transmission
and rebroadcast of motion pictures and television and sports programming."

U.S. copyright holders
also tell the White House, according to the report, that, in this country,
mobile devices including smart phones, tablets and flash drives are a growing
problem on the piracy protection front.

Israel, which is on the USTR's priority watch
list, is being "encouraged" to enforce court decisions requiring
cable operators to compensate content owners for unauthorized TV broadcast

The others on the priority list are Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela. It is essentially
the same list as in 2011, with the addition of Ukraine, particularly over
concerns that it is not doing enough to stop online piracy. "The United States continues to urge Ukraine to take steps to
address serious concerns regarding piracy over the Internet, including by
adopting proposed legislation to provide an appropriate regime for notice and

"This report highlights content theft and
barriers in foreign markets that pose threats to the continued growth of U.S. creative industries
and the U.S. economy," said
Senator Chris Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, in a
statement. "Strong copyright protection and enforcement are vital to our
industry's ability to create U.S. jobs, grow our own
economy, and expand U.S. exports."