Four Central European countries on piracy watch list

By Gyorgy Karpati

    The International Intellectual Property Alliance has placed Hungary, Romania, Poland and Bulgaria on its annual piracy watch list.

    The International Intellectual Property Alliance (www.iipa.com), an independent organization, makes an annual report on film piracy for the U.S. Department of Commerce. The latest annual report was released on February 17.

    According to the IIPA's recommendation the most 13 worst offenders, placed on the Priority Watch list, and are Argentina, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, People's Republic of China, the Philippines, Russia, and Thailand.

    Another 25 countries including Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania are on the Watch List. The estimated trade losses due to copyright piracy in total in 2008 in Bulgaria was $53 million, in Hungary $92 million, in Poland $538 million and in Romania $125 million. The rate increased in Poland, Bulgaria and Romania and decreased in Hungary in 2008.

    The protection of the copyright is not fully supported by the customers and law-makers in Hungary, and the police do not have enough resources to combat the problem, according to the report. The Hungarian Foundation of Public Interest for Copyright Protection of Audiovisual Works (www.asva.hu) is hoping that piracy will be reduced in 2009 due to the establishment of the National Body Against Counterfeiting (and Anti-piracy) by the Government last year, as well as an Anti-Piracy Coalition (APC) established by Hungarian movie-dvd distributors, producers and game distributors in 2007.