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Russia/US: U.S. Says Russia Must Do More On Piracy

Washington, 23 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - United States Trade Representative Charlene Barshefski says theft of intellectual property rights in Russia "continues to be a serious problem."

Barshefsky has ruled that Russia will remain on a special "watch list" the Trade Representative's office maintains on a handful of countries the U.S. believes are not doing enough to curb intellectual property right theft.

Barshefski made the decision after a review of Moscow's efforts to halt such theft. She says Russia has made progress in dealing with the piracy of music CDs, computer software, books, and films but added that theft of intellectual properties still amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

A new law significantly increasing criminal penalties for piracy comes into effect in January in Russia, but the U.S. Trade Representative says what is needed is "a significant increase" in the "aggressive enforcement of these laws by Russia's authorities."

She said Russia also still does not provide copyright protection to pre-1995 foreign sound recordings and other foreign works prior to 1973, nor has it dealt with what Washington considers to be discriminatory trade barriers against the legal import of U.S. works.