The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has released its 2022 report on notorious markets, which identifies 39 online markets and 33 physical markets around the world that reportedly engage in, facilitate, turn a blind eye to, or benefit from substantial copyright piracy or trademark counterfeiting. USTR notes that this list does not constitute an exhaustive list of all markets reported to deal in or facilitate commercial-scale copyright piracy or trademark counterfeiting, 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 countries concerned.

Reflecting the Biden administration’s focus on a worker-centered trade policy, this year’s report includes a section examining the impact of online piracy on U.S. workers involved in the production of creative digital works such as films, books, music, television shows, games, and software. This section “describes how online piracy can impact the wages, residuals, pensions, and health care benefits” that workers in these industries depend on, USTR states, “and how combatting online piracy requires coordination between relevant actors in order to effectively address the rapidly shifting delivery methods of infringing content.” However, the report also notes that more research is needed to better understand piracy trends and the effects online piracy has on workers, as many previous studies have instead focused on the harm caused to large firms and the macro-scale economic impacts on national economic output.

The report does note some positive developments over the past year in addressing the widespread availability of counterfeit and pirated goods in some online and physical markets.

- Governments have steadily resumed enforcement efforts such as seizures, raids, arrests, and store closures.

- Additional information has been gathered on the links between counterfeiting and forced labor.

- Actions against pirate content streaming services have included shutting down websites, seizing illicit devices, and developing national strategies.

- The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development issued a report that examines the value of global counterfeit trade and maps key trade routes, and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation published a report on the importance of robust IPR protections in trade agreements for advancing the interests of U.S. firms and workers.

For more information on IPR-related trade issues, please contact Lee Sandler at (305) 894-1000.

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