The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today welcomed the introduction of the International Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Improvement Act of 2008 and joined in support of the bill’s co-sponsors, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R -Utah). The bill will provide the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) with additional trade tools to protect copyrighted works produced in the United States from widespread piracy and will increase resources and personnel available to Executive Branch agencies to ensure better enforcement of intellectual property laws.
Intellectual property theft continues to be a global concern for the publishing industry, as AAP estimates that U.S. book and journal publishers lost over $500 million in 2007 due to commercial scale photocopying, illegal print runs, unauthorized translations and CD-R burning of text. Industry concerns about internet piracy have also skyrocketed in the past year. AAP, as a member of the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), joins in applauding this new bill, which would help hold those countries that have appeared on the USTR Special 301 Priority Watch List accountable for their actions and provide the U.S. government with specific means to assist in, and encourage, compliance.
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AAP President and CEO Pat Schroeder said; “Engagement by governments through the international trading system is essential to robust intellectual property protection in a global marketplace. Even with the significant progress we’ve made against widespread infringements in recent years, piracy of books and journals overseas remains one of the principal obstacles to the expansion of international business, and this will only increase with the growing availability of books and journals in digital formats. AAP is thrilled at the prospect of additional trade resources being devoted to this pressing issue.”
AAP is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. The association’s more than 300 members include most of the major commercial publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies. AAP members publish hardcover and paperback books in every field, educational materials for the elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and professional markets, scholarly journals, computer software, and electronic products and services. The protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of the freedom to read and the freedom to publish at home and abroad, and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the association’s highest priorities.