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USTR Removes Italy from the Special 301 Watch List

Washington, DC. – The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced today that it removes Italy from the Special 301 Watch List. 

Today, the United States removed Italy from the Watch List in the 2014 Special 301 Report in recognition of the Italian Communications Regulatory Authority’s (AGCOM) adoption, on December 12, 2013, of long-awaited regulations to combat copyright piracy over the Internet, as well as the overall improvement of the climate for IP-intensive industries in Italy.  This decision is reflected in the Special 301 Report, published today, which is the result of an annual review of the state of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement in trading partners around world. 

Italy’s removal from the Special 301 List reflects the significant steps the Government of Italy has taken to address the problem of online piracy, and the continued U.S. commitment to meaningful and sustained engagement with our critical partner Italy. 

The AGCOM regulations, which entered into force on March 31, 2014, will benefit Italian as well as foreign copyright holders by providing notice and takedown procedures that incorporate due process safeguards and establish a mechanism for addressing large-scale piracy.  The adoption and entry into force of these regulations is an important achievement, resulting from intensive efforts over many years. 

The United States encourages Italy to continue this positive momentum. We look forward to continuing to work with Italy on our shared commitment to IPR protection and enforcement.

Background

Pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (1994), under the Special 301 provisions, USTR must identify those countries that deny adequate and effective protection for intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access for persons that rely on intellectual property protection. USTR has created a "Priority Watch List" and "Watch List" under the Special 301 provisions. A trading partner’s placement on the Priority Watch List or Watch List indicates that particular problems exist in that country or economy with respect to IPR protection, enforcement, or market access for persons relying on intellectual property. Trading partners on the Priority Watch List become the focus of increased bilateral attention concerning the problem areas.