Canada may have been elevated to the same ranking as China and Russia on a piracy watchlist put out in the U.S. a few weeks ago, but a new report suggests that copyright infringement is actually flagging in Canada compared to many other western nations.

Source: BayTSP
 2007 rank  2008 rank  Country  Infringements
 2  1  Spain  24,749,379
 4  2  Italy  19,233,279
 3  3  France  17,884,699
 1  4  U.S.  8,116,302
 6  5  U.K.  6,586,698
 9  6  Brazil  5,973,286
 5  7  Germany  5,731,959
 10  8  Poland  4,152,861
 13  9  Israel  3,655,253
 7  10  Canada  3,342,072

Canada fell to 10th place in 2008, down from 7th the year before, in an annual ranking of countries based on the number of copyright infringements identified there by the anti-piracy company BayTSP, based in Los Gatos, Calif.

The company tracks copyright infringement for clients that include movie studios, sports franchises and pay-per-view broadcasters. The numbers released this week in its report titled Online Trends and Insights 2008 represent the cumulative data from all of their clients. The company did not indicate how many clients were involved, although it noted that by the end of 2008, 15 studios were using the company's Content Authentication Platform to identify where their content is appearing on user generated content sites.

Spain, Italy and France topped the list of countries with the most infringements, said a news release from BayTSP. The report said those three countries have lax copyright protection. Each had six to seven times the number of infringements as Canada.

The U.S. was in fourth place, down from first place in 2007.

None of the top three countries appear on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's copyright infringement priority watch list, which Canada was placed on for the first time this year.

However, Spain does appear on a lower U.S. watch list that Canada had previously been on for years. That report credited American internet service providers with stepping up their responsiveness to copyright infringement.

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No Canadian academic institutions made the Top 10 list of universities where copyright infringement is taking place. In first place was the University of Botswana. ((CBC))

No Canadian internet service providers made the top 10 list of ISPs used to commit copyright infringement. That list was dominated by European ISPs.

Nor did any Canadian institutions appear on the top 10 list of universities with the most infringements, where the University of Botswana came first, followed by Uppsala University in Sweden.

BayTSP also tracks the way in which copyrighted material is being shared illegally, finding that peer-to-peer file sharing services such as BitTorrent and eDonkey dominate compared to video streaming sites such as YouTube and MySpace

The report also noted that file sharers are now switching to Cyberlockers and Usenet newsgroups as a means for sharing files because copyright enforcement authorities are increasingly targeting peer-to-peer networks.