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FOR  IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   

April 16, 1997



on U.S. - Vietnam Copyright Treaty

April 16, 1997

The U.S. copyright industries welcome news of the negotiation of a bilateral copyright treaty between the United States and Vietnam.   Once the treaty goes into effect, U.S. copyright owners will enjoy legal protection against piracy in Vietnam for the first time, while Vietnamese authors and producers will have similar protection here. 

Piracy of all kinds of copyrighted materials -- movies and videos, musical recordings, books, software and videogames -- is on the rise in Vietnam, inflicting over $50 million in trade losses annually, and threatening the potential for U.S. exports to one of the world's fastest growing markets.  This piracy problem must be tackled immediately if U.S.-Vietnam trade relations are ever to grow.  The signing of this treaty could be just the breakthrough that is needed.

By signing the treaty, Vietnam undertakes two crucial obligations: bringing its copyright laws and enforcement practices closer to world standards, and treating U.S. and local copyright owners equally.  Fulfilling these obligations will not be easy for Vietnam, which is just starting to construct a modern intellectual property law regime.  But achieving these goals will accomplish enormous benefits for the Vietnamese people and their economy.  

IIPA and its member associations look forward to working with the Vietnamese copyright authorities in the months ahead to implement this historic new treaty.   We also encourage Vietnam to become more fully integrated into the world's information economy by joining the Berne Convention and other leading copyright-related treaties, and by undertaking the trade reforms needed for it to join the World Trade Organization. 

IIPA also salutes Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky and the rest of the USTR team for their hard work and persistence in negotiating this vital pact.  Once again, they have taken a big step forward toward more open markets and greater respect for the fruits of U.S. creativity around the world. 

IIPA is a coalition of associations representing U.S. copyright-based industries in bilateral and multilateral efforts to open up foreign markets closed by piracy and other market access barriers.  IIPA’s seven member associations are the Association of American Publishers (AAP), AFMA, the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).  These associations represent over 1,350 U.S. companies producing and distributing works protected by copyright laws throughout the world -- all types of computer software including business and entertainment software (such as videogame CDs and cartridges, personal computer CDs and multimedia products);  motion pictures, television programs and home videocassettes; music, records, CDs and audiocassettes; and textbooks, tradebooks, reference and professional publications and journals (in both electronic and print media).

A study  prepared for the IIPA by Economists Inc., Copyright Industries in the U.S. Economy: The 1996 Report confirms that the copyright-based industries are among the largest and fastest growing sectors of the U.S. economy.   The core copyright industries accounted for $254.6 billion in value added to the U.S. economy in 1994 (the latest data available), or approximately  3.78% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).   Between 1987 and 1994, the core copyright industries grew twice as fast as the rest of the economy (4.6% vs. 2.3%) and have created new jobs more than twice as fast as the economy as a whole (2.85% vs. 1.25%).  In 1995, the U.S. core copyright industries achieved foreign sales and exports of $53.25 billion, surpassing every other export sector except automotive and agriculture.

Press releases and additional information on IIPA are available by fax using IIPA’s fax-on-demand service - call (303) 575-6110 - and through IIPA’s Web site at http://www.iipa.com.

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