IP Watchlist 2012 reveals the best and the worst countries for copyright
23 Apr 2012
There is a lot of debate at
the moment surrounding consumers and intellectual property rights.
The digital landscape changes almost daily and scenarios that were
unimaginable even ten years ago have become reality.
Today, the content industry and its consumers are dealing with
- Do consumers own or simply license copyrighted material when
they buy it?
- Does the high cost of litigation prevent online innovators from
- Is illegal downloading a crime worth going to jail for?
Questions like these are coming up again and again and consumers
and the industry are looking for answers.
CI sheds some light on the issues with the publication of its
fourth annual IP
Watchlist. This annual global survey reveals which
countries consider consumers' needs best when designing their
intellectual property (IP) laws and enforcement practices.
Responses from 30 countries on 49 criteria were considered in
this year's survey, the results of which show no major changes from
last year as IP law reform is a famously slow process.
Israel and Jordan top and tail this year's survey. Israel ended
up on top thanks to its 'fair use' exception (the United States
scraped into the top five for the same reason).
Two new countries in this year's survey, Malawi and Costa Rica,
came out in the middle of a decidedly average pack. Jordan ranked
last, with Argentina and the United Kingdom also faring typically
A number of countries have taken steps to reform copyright law for
the benefit of consumers and to improve access to knowledge.
Changes introduced (or upcoming) since the last report are detailed
According to the UK's Hargreaves Review of
IP and Growth, published in early 2011, "copying should be
lawful where it is for private purposes or does not damage the
underlying aims of copyright".
CI agrees. The UK has been near the bottom of the IP
Watchlist for the past four years and we commend the UK
Government's intention to comprehensively update copyright
exceptions for the benefit of consumers, educational
establishments, researchers, libraries and archives.
We look forward to upgrading the UK in 2013 and hope that other
countries follow suit.
Details of the
research that informed this report, including references to the
original sources, such as statutes and case law, are available at
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