WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives Nov. 16 passed a “sense of the Congress” resolution that the Russian Federation should get serious about enforcing its anti-piracy laws and prosecuting pirates of U.S. intellectual property — or risk not being accepted into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Russia is not a member of the WTO and its half-hearted copyright enforcement could jeopardize its chances of joining.
The resolution, H. Con. Res. 230, co-sponsored by representatives Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Diane Watson, D-Calif., also says Russia could lose its eligibility to participate in the U.S.’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, offered to favored trade partners.
“As long as sixteen government owned plants continue to illegally produce these materials, we cannot take seriously their claims that they are cracking down, ” said Rep. Issa in a Congressional Record statement. Russia, he added, is the number one exporter of bogus CDs and DVDs.
In a written statement, Recording Industry Assn. of America chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol applauded the action: “With the passage of this resolution in the House, a chorus of voices has made a single message incredibly clear; the status quo is simply not an option. The Russian government must step up the fight against piracy.”
A similar Senate resolution is expected soon.