Canada on U.S. blacklist over intellectual piracy

A powerful coalition of U.S. software, movie and music producers wants the Bush administration to put Canada on a blacklist of intellectual property villains.

A powerful coalition of U.S. software, movie and music producers wants the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush to put Canada on a blacklist of intellectual property villains.

Canada is one of 16 countries on the "priority watch list" of the International Intellectual Property Alliance.

The IIPA represents such companies as Microsoft, Apple and Paramount Pictures, and makes an annual report to the U.S. Congress on copyright piracy and market access problems around the world.

Canada has failed to deliver on a promised overhaul of copyright laws and a crackdown of piracy offences, the IIPA says.

The lobby group accuses Canada of becoming a leading exporter of bootleg movies and pirated software.

It estimates losses of $551 million US in Canada in 2006 on business software alone.

Russia and China remain at the top of the IIPA's blacklist because of rampant piracy of U.S.-made software, music and films.

Canada joins the likes of Argentina, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Israel, Mexico and Turkey on the priority watch list.

"In 2007, IIPA is asking the U.S. government to bring greater pressure to bear and employ new tools to improve enforcement systems in most of the countries on these lists," the IIPA's Eric Smith said in a release.

Acopyright act drafted by the previous Liberal administration died without being passed and the Conservative government has yet to put forward a draft of new copyright legislation.

Heritage Minister Bev Oda is being pressured by the entertainment industry and independent artists to update the legislation.