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Cablegate: Pirates of the Czech Republic: Ministry Will

VZCZCXRO7110
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHPG #0849 2000913
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 190913Z JUL 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9374
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000849

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ETRD ECON EZ
SUBJECT: PIRATES OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC: MINISTRY WILL
PRESENT IPR ACTION PLAN TO GOVERNMENT IN SEPTEMBER

REF: A. PRAGUE 742

B. PRAGUE 578
C. PRAGUE 457

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Ambassador met with Deputy Minister of
Industry and Trade Martin Tlapa on July 17 to underscore the
need for a Czech action plan to combat intellectual property
piracy at Czech border markets. The Ambassador reminded
Tlapa of the upcoming Special 301 Off-cycle Review (OCR) in
October and said the USG was looking for both an IPR action
plan and tangible steps to resolve the problem. Tlapa said
the Ministry has a draft action plan, which incorporates the
USG-suggested action plan provided in May. The ultimate goal
of the Czech action plan is to shut down the stalls selling
pirated goods. Tlapa noted that this action plan would not
be presented for government approval until the second half of
September. End summary.

2. (SBU) EU Department Director Ladislava Votavova, who
chairs the IPR inter-ministerial committee and accompanied
Tlapa in the meeting with the Ambassador, will present the
proposed action plan to Minister of Industry and Trade Riman
for approval the week of July 23. Given the summer holiday
season, however, Tlapa does not expect the plan to be
presented to the government for approval until the second
half of September. Tlapa said he was hopeful that the
proposed action plan would be approved by both Minister Riman
and the government.

3. (SBU) The Czech action plan contains four main proposals
developed by the inter-ministerial committee on IPR issues
(REF A). The key proposal of the four-point action plan is
to determine the fastest legal route to completely halt sales
of DVD/CDs in open-air stalls. This proposal is similar to
existing prohibitions on the sale of alcohol and tobacco
products at the stalls, and could make it difficult for
vendors to sell pirated audio and video recordings. The plan
also recommends increasing the frequency of raids at border
markets, providing a training program for judges on IPR
issues and fast-tracking legislation to increase the
penalties for vendors who sell pirated materials. (Note:
Post does not have this action plan. This was verbally
conveyed only. End note.)

4. (SBU) The Ambassador said he supported the proposals
mentioned, and asked that any tangible implementation steps,
such as a public statement condemning IPR piracy in the Czech
Republic, be taken as soon as possible. He provided Tlapa
with a list of reasons why being on the Watch List could
negatively affect the Czech Republic and expressed Post's
willingness to engage other Ministries to gain support for
the Czech action plan. Tlapa noted that solving the problem
involved coordination among a number of Ministries and said
he might ask the Ambassador to help raise awareness of the
issue with other Ministers in the future.

5. (SBU) COMMENT: Tlapa and Votavova clearly understand USG
and industry concerns about piracy at the open-air markets
and the Special 301 OCR deadline. The acceptance of some of
the points of the suggested U.S. IPR action plan, "using
almost your words" according to Tlapa, is a strong signal,
along with the proposal to shut down pirate vendors at the
border markets. The anticipated delay in approving an
official action plan appears to be due to the difficulties of
inter-ministerial coordination during the summer holiday
season, when there are few bodies in European government
ministries. However, the late-September timeframe for
presentation of the plan to government does not leave much
time to make real progress before the OCR. The Ambassador
made that clear, and Tlapa understands that September is
likely too late. The Ambassador will engage with other
critical Ministries (Interior, Justice, Culture) on IPR
issues to increase awareness and support for the proposed
Czech action plan. End comment.
GRABER

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