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IIPA Recommends Thailand be Moved Off Priority Watch List, BSA Study Finds More Than Half of UK SMBs Have Used Illegal Software and Japan Launches Operation Decoy File - Weekly Review 2/11/2013

February 11, 2013

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Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly update on software piracy and copyright infringement. Last week the powerful lobbying group, IIPA, recommended Thailand be removed from the USTR's Priority Watch List, the BSA conducted a study which found over 50% of UK SMBs have used pirated software and Japan launched Operation Decoy File. Read on and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and our RSS feed to get the latest news.

Copyright Group Lobbies US to Remove Thailand from Piracy “Priority Watch List”

The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), one of the most powerful industry IIPAgroups pushing for tougher anti-piracy laws, recently asked Washington to reconsider Thailand’s place in the US Trade Representative’s annual intellectual property report. The IIPA believes Thailand’s current government made significant progress in strengthening intellectual property law and recommends that Thailand be moved from the "Priority Watch List" to "Watch List" in the 2013 Special 301 Report.

The Special 301 Report identifies countries whose poor intellectual property law and enforcement creates trade barriers to US corporations. The report's worst offenders are placed on the Priority Watch List. Countries on the Priority Watch List are defined as having “the most onerous or egregious” lack of effective intellectual property rights and whose acts have had the greatest adverse impact on US products.

Since 2007, Thailand has found itself on the Priority Watch List of the Special 301 Report. With the IIPA recommendation, it’s likely Thailand will be removed from priority status and placed in the Watch List for 2013.

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BSA Study Suggests More Than Half of UK SMBs Have Used Illegal Software

A recent study by the BSA highlights the lurking software piracy problem in the UK. According to the study, 52% of SMBs admitted to purchasing or downloading illegal software. Unsurprisingly piracy isn’t without risk; of the 41% who said they purchased illegal software, 21% have fallen victim to identity theft.

On the bright side, 88 % of SMBs admit pirated software creates a security risk with 51% of SMBs saying that if they discovered pirated software they would replace it with a legitimate copy.

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Japan Launches Operation Decoy File to Shame Would-be Pirates

The Japanese Government has launched a copyright awareness campaign it hopes will shame would-be pirates into compliance. For the campaign, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will be seeding decoy pirated content embedded with hidden anti-piracy warnings on popular P2P networks. The program is aptly named “Operation Decoy File.”

Japan already has some of the toughest intellectual law regarding file downloading. As of October 2012, the downloading of pirated content with the intent to sell is punishable by up to two years in prison and a ¥2 million fine.

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Questions, comments? Is there a story or topic you’d like to see covered in depth? Please leave a comment below or visit us at our Software Piracy Initiatives Forum and discuss the topics with experts in the field!

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Victor DeMarines

Post written by Victor DeMarines

Vice President, Products & Strategy at Revulytics

Victor DeMarines brings extensive security product management and marketing experience to Revulytics, where he is responsible for product strategy and direction. He is a frequent speaker and author on topics including piracy, reverse engineering and the protection of intellectual property.