Search

 

Cablegate: Year 2004 Special 301 Input: Bahrain's Progress

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANAMA 000249

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EB/ICP WILSON
DEPT FOR NEA/ARP, NEA/REA AND NEA/ENA:ACUTRONA
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO USTR BPECK, DOC KSCHLEGELMILCH, USPTO
JURBAN/DLASHLEY-JOHNSON, AND LOC STEPP
CAIRO FOR STEVE BONDY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ETRD ECON BA
SUBJECT: YEAR 2004 SPECIAL 301 INPUT: BAHRAIN'S PROGRESS

REF: STATE 29549

1. SUMMARY: In 2003, Bahrain sustained a strong anti-piracy
policy, seizing nearly 468,000 audiovisual products, mostly
DVDs. The GOB legalized its Microsoft software and is now
purchasing, rather than illegally copying, additional
software products. Bahrain is holding up enactment of eight
draft IPR laws that bring the country into TRIPS compliance
so the laws can be brought into conformity with FTA
requirements. Legislation to implement WIPO Copyright (WCT)
and Performances and Phonograms (WPPT) treaties is pending in
Parliament. END SUMMARY.

--------------------------------------------- ---------------
Enforcement of optical media piracy regulations still strong
--------------------------------------------- ---------------

2. Optical media piracy in Bahrain is not homegrown, Jamal
Dawood Salman, Ministry of Information's Director of
Publications and Press, told ECONOFF February 16. Salman
said pirated DVDs and CDs mainly enter Bahrain from the Far
East, primarily from Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia;
parallel imports of Zone 1 products occur principally through
direct sales from the United States, or are brought acoss the
Causeway from Saudi Arabia. The proportion of pirated items
seized at the border is increasing relative to those found
during shop raids, Salman said, because fewer illegal
products are making it to the shelves.

3. The Directorate performs 550 shop raids per year. During
2003, Salman's office confiscated 467,820 illegal audiovisual
items and destroyed 33,730 of these (NOTE: Parallel imports,
e.g., Zone 1 DVDs, often purchased via the internet, are
generally returned to sender. END NOTE). The Directorate is
working in conjunction with the Motion Picture Association,
directly with studios such as Warner Brothers, Disney, and
Paramount, and with the Arabian Anti-piracy Alliance to
improve detection and stem the flow of pirated products into
Bahrain. COMMENT: Making Bahrain a Zone 1 movie outlet would
substantially reduce Bahrain's parallel import problem. END
COMMENT.

-----------------------------
Government software legalized
-----------------------------

4. Through an October 5, 2003 MOU with Microsoft, the GOB
legalized all its Microsoft software. The agreement is
designed to keep the GOB legal by offering new releases,
technical support, training and special incentives for
schools and students. February 16, Bahrain Microsoft
Business Development Manager Samir Benmakhlouf told ECONOFF
that GOB desktops were "clean", i.e., free from illegal
software, and that the ministries were buying (rather than
illegally copying) additional products. He said that the GOB
is complying fully with the MOU and its commitment to IPR
protection.

--------------------------------------------- ---------------
Proposed IPR legislation under review for TRIPS and FTA
compliance
--------------------------------------------- ---------------

5. Bahrain is serious about developing quality intellectual
property protection legislation, Jameel Al Alawi, Director of
Agreements and Treaties, Directorate of Legal Affairs told
ECONOFF February 16. Within the last year, he said, the
Bahraini Parliament passed three IP laws: Trade Secrets,
Geographical Indicators, and Patents. The Trademarks law is
with the parliament, ready for a vote. The Copyright law
received cabinet approval, but now the Cabinet is modifying
it to fulfill anticipated FTA obligations. The Cabinet is
currently studying Integrated Circuits, Plant Varieties, and
Industrial Design drafts. In addition, the UPOV treaty on
plant varieties is under review at the cabinet.

6. Al Alawi told ECONOFF February 16 that Legal Affairs is
holding back the new intellectual property laws designed to
bring Bahrain's regulatory system into TRIPS compliance to
assure that they also conform to negotiated FTA requirements
and will not need to be amended. To that end, the Legal
Affairs Directorate has provided English translations of
these (draft) laws to the USG for study by appropriate
agencies.

--------------------------------------------- ---------------
WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), WIPO Performances and Phonograms
Treaty (WPPT) accessions soon
--------------------------------------------- ---------------
7. Legislation supporting the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and
the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) has been
passed by the cabinet and parliamentary committees and is
currently with the Council of Representatives (the elected
house of Bahrain's National Assembly). Jameel Al Alawi,
Director of Agreements and Treaties, Directorate of Legal
Affairs told ECONOFF February 16 that he expects this
legislation to pass once parliament reconvenes, within the
next few weeks.
FORD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Climate Change: Record Northern Heat, Fuels Concerns Over US Wildfire Destruction

More than 78,000 acres of forest in the Sierra mountains in California has been lost due to wildfires. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ... More>>

UN: Guterres Condemns Killing Of Journalists, Following Beheading Of Mexican Crime Reporter

© UNESCO | International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Following the gruesome death of a Mexican journalist specializing in crime reporting, who was found beheaded on Wednesday, UN chief António Guterres has issued a statement condemning ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>

WWF: Living Planet Report Reveals Average Two-Thirds Decline In Wildlife Populations Since 1970

According to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020 released today, global populations* of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average two-thirds decline in less than half a century. The decline is due in large part to the very ... More>>