Russia Must Do More Against Internet Piracy

As a Representative whose district is comprised of many producers of intellectual property, I am pleased that Russia has finally agreed to take action to protect copyrighted materials from being distributed illegally on the Internet and to shutdown one of the largest violators, Allofmp3.com. However, there is much more Russia will need to do to demonstrate its commitment to intellectual property protection.

Allofmp3.com was branded by the U.S. Department of Commerce as the world's highest-volume online seller of pirated music, and it claims five million subscribers with a growth rate of 5,000 a day. Each day that the site continues to operate, countless thefts will be permitted to occur.

As Co-Chairman of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus, I believe that Russia and other countries must not be permitted to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the absence of a true commitment to international law and the protection of intellectual property—one of our nation's chief exports. In October, I coauthored a letter to President Bush calling on him not to conclude an accession agreement with Russia to the WTO until they ensure that the country's copyright laws and enforcement systems satisfy the provisions of the WTO.

This agreement is a step in the right direction, but we will look for concrete results to determine whether Russia is ready for admission to the WTO.