US: Stop the pirating
United States (US) trade officials are increasing pressure on Barbados as they maintain claims that American cable programming is being intercepted and retransmitted in Barbados without permission and adequate payment.
The Office of the United States Trade (USTR) Michael Froman has kept Barbados on a watch list of countries it alleged were flouting the intellectual property rights of US rights holders.
It is also urging Government to “take all administrative actions necessary, without undue delay, to ensure that all composers and songwriters receive the royalties they are owed for the public performance of their musical works”.
“Barbados remains on the watch list in 2015. The [US] continues to have concerns about the interception and retransmission of US cable programming by local cable operators in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean region without the consent of, and without adequately compensating, US rights holders,” the USTR said in its 2015 Special 301 Report.
The Americans also said they were concerned about what they alleged was “the refusal of Barbadian TV and radio broadcasters and cable and satellite operators to pay for public performances of music”.
“In addition, the United States urges the Government of Barbados to adopt modern copyright legislation that protects works in both physical and online environments and to take steps to prevent the unauthorised and uncompensated retransmission of copyrighted musical and audio visual content.
“The United States looks forward to working with Barbados to resolve these issues,” they added.
The Special 301 Report is published after the USTR’s annual review of the state of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement in US trading partners around the world.
In addition to Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago are the other Caribbean countries on the watch list. The US said being on the watch list or the “priority watch list” meant there were problems in the named countries with intellectual property rights protection, enforcement or market access for people relying on those rights.