Thailand is set to forward a draft anti-camcording bill for parliamentary approval in August, a move the Commerce Ministry hopes will help to remove the country from the US Priority Watch List (PWL).
Thailand was included on the list of the world's worst intellectual property violators for another year, according to the annual Special 301 Report by the US Trade Representative (USTR) released late on Wednesday.
This makes the seventh consecutive year for the country to be included.
Ten countries _ Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand and Venezuela _ are on the PWL.
In theory, presence on the PWL can bring punitive trade retaliation including special duties and sanctions, but in practice this never has happened.
The USTR remained concerned, as it was last year, that Thailand has failed to pass laws protecting intellectual property.
"Thailand remains on the Priority Watch List in 2013," states the report. "The US is prepared to review that status if Thailand makes significant progress in passing key legislative initiatives."
It calls for more crackdowns on open sales of copyrighted and counterfeit goods and the imposition of deterrent-level prison sentences.
The US agency believes Thailand should:
- End piracy of cable and satellite signals;
- Make landlords liable for sales of pirated and counterfeit goods in or on their property;
- Put a stop to the rapidly growing problem of copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting on the internet;
- Stop camcording _ the recording of motion pictures inside cinemas using video cameras or smartphones;
- Stop the leaking of test results and marketing plans for drugs, pharmaceuticals and chemicals for agricultural use;
- Hold more discussions with "stakeholders" (i.e. drug companies) on medical patents.
Pajchima Tanasanti, director-general of the Intellectual Property Department, said the US ruling comes as anticipated and the rating has no adverse impact on trade between Thailand and the US.
Thai officials discussed the ruling with USTR officials yesterday, and they promised to remove Thailand if it forwards a draft anti-camcording bill for parliamentary approval in August, she said.
About the author
- Writer: Phusadee Arunmas
Position: Business Reporter