Azerbaijan may reenter int'l piracy rating

Business Materials 3 February 2009 16:26 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 3 / Trend , U.Ismayilova/

The level of piracy in Azerbaijan is almost at level with the early 2000s when the nation was included in the Special 301 blacklist of nations with high piracy levels, Azerbaijani Copyright Law Agency head Kamran Imanov said at the international Copyright and Broadcasting workshop on on Feb. 3. The rating was developed by the U.S. Trade Representative.   "The level of music piracy in Azerbaijan is 70 percent. Computer technology piracy tops 80 percent. Book piracy is 40 percent. Audio-visual products piracy is 76 percent. These are high figures," Imanov said.

Special 301 is an annual list published in the U.S. It ranks countries with poor intellectual property rights protection. Blacklisted countries are a key priority for combating piracy.

The reporting procedures are envisaged in Article 301 of the U.S. Trade Act. Imanov said Azerbaijan was removed from the blacklist in 2006 after strengthening measures to combat piracy and protect intellectual property rights. The agency is taking steps to improve the country's legislative framework, Imanov said, which is a key requirement for joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), Azerbaijan has been an observer in the WTO since 1997.  

The agency is developing a draft law on Ways to Protect Intellectual Property Rights and Combat Piracy. The law will conform to international standards. Amendments are also being made to the Criminal Procedure Code, Civil Code and Code of Administrative Offenses. These measures are carried out to ensure violators of intellectual property rights will be brought to justice, Imanov said. The agency is considering plans to develop a special intellectual property center. Its task will be to stamp legal products with special holograms, he said.

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