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Cablegate: Summary of Czech Ipr Inter-Ministerial Meeting

VZCZCXRO1501
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHPG #0742 1720753
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 210753Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9266
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000742

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/NCE AND EB/IPE JBOGER
STATE PASS USTR FOR JCHOE-GROVES AND WMOORE
COMMERCE FOR 4232/ITA/MAC/MROGERS
COMMERCE PASS USPTO
STATE PASS LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ETRD ECON EZ
SUBJECT: SUMMARY OF CZECH IPR INTER-MINISTERIAL MEETING

REF: A. PRAGUE 578

B. CHOE-GROVES E-MAIL OF MAY 11 & MAY 16
C. PRAGUE 457
D. STATE 56305
E. PRAGUE 399
F. PRAGUE 359
G. PRAGUE 323
H. PRAGUE 293
I. PRAGUE 274
J. PRAGUE 244
K. PRAGUE 160

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Econoff participated in the June 19 Czech
IPR nter-ministerial committee meeting, along with recording
industry (IFPI/RIAA) representatives. This is the
committee's second meeting since the April 30 USG Special 301
announcement (first was May 23). While the group has made
some progress in cataloging existing IPR laws which could be
used to prosecute sellers of pirated materials at the
markets, the inter-ministerial effort still has not resulted
in a concrete action plan and seems to lack momentum.
Representatives from a number of ministries claimed they saw
no way their organizations could help combat this problem,
indicating that strong political will may be lacking.
Econoff reinforced the fact that the off-cycle review
scheduled in October could result in the Czech Republic being
placed on the Special 301 WATCH LIST if measurable progress
was not made. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) Department
Director Ladislava Votavova chaired the meeting, which
included representatives from the Ministry of Informatics,
Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Culture and the Customs
Administration. The meeting began with a presentation from
IFPI Deputy Regional Director Stefan Krawczyk, who
highlighted the extent of the problem in the Czech Republic
and provided statistics on the financial losses incurred by
the recording industry due to sale of pirated materials at
the open-air markets. Krawczyk concluded his presentation
with a "wish list" of actions the Czech authorities should
take to combat the piracy problem. The list mirrored a
number of USG Interagency Suggested Action Plan items,
including development of high-tech business licenses, routine
patrolling of open-air markets, permanent revocation of
business licenses for repeat offenders and public government
announcement of a "no-tolerance policy" for piracy and
counterfeiting.

3. (SBU) The discussion on what each ministry or department
could do to help alleviate the problem was at times
contentious, with many representatives stating that they did
not have the tools to help. Mr. Urban, director of the
licensing office at MIT, exemplified this problem. Although
both IFPI and Washington recommended the development of
high-tech business licenses in order to better track vendors
caught selling pirated goods, Urban stated his office was
moving away from requiring physical business licenses at all.
He said requiring open-air market vendors to have high-tech
licenses that include photographs and fingerprints would be
discriminatory. Additionally, even though revoking business
licenses is allowed under Czech law, Urban noted repeatedly
that this should only be done "as a last resort."

4. (SBU) MIT intends to have a proposed action plan ready for
submission to Minister Riman in the July-August timeframe.
Although this is still possible to achieve, the lack of
measurable inter-ministerial cooperation at this point
indicates that a new infusion of political will is needed.
To assist with this, the Ambassador will meet with the
Minister of Industry and Trade to reinforce our interest in
eliminating the piracy problem and highlight the fact that
time is critical.
GRABER

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