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EU to launch its own version of the piracy-focused Notorious Markets list

By | Published on Friday 26 January 2018


Good news for fans of lists of piracy websites! Who doesn’t love a good list of piracy websites? Everyone loves a good list of piracy websites. Got a loved one with a birthday coming up? Give them a list of piracy websites as a present and just watch how they respond. Good times.

Very soon there’ll be a brand new list of piracy websites to gift to friends and family. The European Union has announced plans to follow the American government in maintaining a regularly updated list of the websites around the world that most piss of copyright owners like record companies and music publishers.

The US government has been putting out its annual Notorious Markets list of intellectual property infringing websites for a while now. American copyright owners are invited to nominate sites for inclusion, some of which make it into the final document. Published by the office of the United States Trade Representative, the Notorious Markets report is mainly aimed at other governments around the world to help them “prioritise intellectual property rights enforcement efforts that protect American businesses and their workers”.

InĀ the most recent edition, the music industry’s current top piracy gripe – streaming ripping – got a nice mention, while old favourite The Pirate Bay was also officially dissed once again. Elsewhere there was criticism for Russian social media firm vKontakte, even though it is now in business with the music industry, because Hollywood is still annoyed at all the movies that get shared across the social network.

In a statement earlier this week, the EU said that its new list will aim to “identify the marketplaces outside the EU where counterfeiting, piracy or other forms of intellectual property abuse are common practice”.

It added that “based on stakeholders’ input, the future watch list will help to raise awareness of consumers that might be buying products in those marketplaces, and encourage their operators and owners to crack down on intellectual property abuse”.

Though, as with the Notorious Markets report, other governments are also a target audience. The EU added: “The Commission will also monitor the measures taken by local authorities to reduce the availability of goods and services infringing intellectual property rights in identified markets”.

Providing the rationale for the project, the EU’s statement then noted how “intellectual property infringement is a particular scourge on European industry and hampers investment and employment in industries reliant on creativity and innovation”.

Copyright owners are invited to make submissions to the new piracy list project by the end of March. It will be interesting to see which sites and services they target, and in particular whether any of them are based in the US. Because of the international focus on the Notorious Markets list, the American anti-piracy document doesn’t deal with those copyright infringing operations in its own country.