Hopes for better rating in US review
The government expects a better rating from the US Trade Representative (USTR) on the latest evaluation of Thailand’s crackdown efforts on intellectual property (IP) violations, which may persuade the US to remove it from the Priority Watch List.
Being delisted could help Thailand escape being slapped with non-tariff barriers on trade by the US.
Thosapone Dansuputra, director-general of the Commerce Ministry’s Intellectual Property Department, said it has gone to great lengths to show it is serious about stopping IP infringements and it will present this information to the USTR during its out-of-cycle review in October.
He said the department is amending its IP regulations related to the online market and e-commerce to modernise them because violators now distribute IP online instead of making unlawful hard copies.
The amendments will include a method for owners of IP, goods or advertisements to force internet service providers (ISPs) to take down all posts that infringe on their rights.
“The amendment of regulations is due to be completed by the end of this year, which is further proof we are progressing in our crackdowns on IP infringement,” said Mr Thosapone.
The USTR’s 2017 Review of Notorious Markets listed several markets as red zones, meaning they have many unlawful copies of movies, songs and other IP items.
Mr Thosapone expects several markets to be delisted from the US review in October.
Several US film makers and other US firms have reported finding many unlawful copies of films on websites, a change from the hard copies previously available at notorious markets.
“That’s why we need to amend the law,” he said.
Previously IP owners had to wait until the accused were found guilty of violating the Computer Crime Act of 2007, which could take several months, before using court orders to force ISPs to take down content.
An official, in this filed photo, cuts a handbag with fake brand name during an event to destroy counterfeit and pirate goods held by the Intellectual Property Department and police.