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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     3 November  2011

IP violations listed
An American intellectual property (IP) alliance has submitted to the US Trade Representative (USTR) a list of areas in Metro Manila which are said to be “notorious markets” for IP violations.

In a new report it filed on October 26, the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) named the following areas as havens for piracy: Quiapo, Binondo, Baclaran, Makati Cinema Square, Metrowalk, 168 Mall and other nearby malls in Divisoria, Manila, including Juan Luna Plaza and New Divisoria Mall.

The IP group also noted several areas in the country that are still plagued by retail pirate trade. “For example, Manila’s Quiapo district remains a center for pirate trade in optical discs,” the association said.

The different “notorious markets” included in the list are composed of physical locations such as those areas mentioned in the Philippines or online sites such as Sweden’s and China’s

The group said “these… markets notorious for their connection to IP infringing activity are symptomatic of a larger struggle creators face to overcome years of lax attitudes and enforcement actions against piracy, as well as market access barriers.”

In March this year, the USTR identified Quiapo as one of the more than 30 Internet and physical markets around the globe that serve as notorious hubs for piracy and counterfeiting.

The IIPA, a private sector-led coalition of trade associations representing US-based copyright industries, has been critical of the IP record of the Philippines.

Early this year, the IIPA urged the US government to put the Philippines in the “Priority Watch List” because of the country’s alleged bad IP record.

The Philippines, however, was able to fend off the lobbying efforts of IIPA after the country was retained in the “watch list” of the USTR’s annual IP review.

IIPA’s seven member associations include the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which has a strong presence in the country.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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