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Putting Amazon on USTR’s “Hit List”

By Hugh Stephens — 24.06.2020

 

Getting recognized by the US Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) in its annual “Notorious Markets” piracy and counterfeiting report is not the sort of recognition that most companies seek. USTR’s hit list, one might even say *hit list, is best avoided. When you consider that among the entities on the list is The Pirate Bay, Alibaba’s ecommerce platform Taobao, dodgy websites such as Phimmoi (Vietnam), FMovies (Ukraine), MP3Juices, Rapidgator, and Sci-Hub (all based in Russia) and a number of others that you have probably never heard of hosted in countries from the Netherlands to Bulgaria to Bosnia, you can understand why Amazon was not thrilled to be included. Of course, it wasn’t Amazon.com (the US company) that was listed but rather Amazon’s sites in Canada, France, Germany, India and the UK. USTR is mandated only to report on IP infringing markets and online sites abroad, not stateside, so Amazon the parent company could not be listed–but putting five of its national sites on the Notorious Markets list cuts pretty close to home. In fact, I believe it is unprecedented for a US company to be listed, even via the ruse of using its offshore businesses as a target. What gives?

 

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