The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday [May 1] released its annual Special 301 report evaluating the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in US trading partners.

For the first time since 2005, the USTR has designated a Priority Foreign Country (PFC) status to a territory, in this case Ukraine.

PFC is the most serious classification under the Special 301 statute and emerged in light of Ukraine’s reputation as “an international source of pirated music and films that has significantly harmed the legitimate film and music market in Ukraine, with spill-over losses in the US.”

Further to the enactment by Thailand of “meaningful anti-camcording legislation”, USTR has scheduled a special review of Thailand’s intellectual property protections before the issuance of next year’s Special 301 report.

Spain remains off the watch list in light of efforts by the Spanish government to enforce copyright protection.

“The Special 301 report identifies some of the key foreign threats to America’s copyright industries,” said MPAA chairman and CEO Chris Dodd.

“The report offers an important roadmap for improving strong and enforceable intellectual property protections and expanding US exports, both of which are vital to the strength of the US economy. We thank Acting US Trade Representative [Demetrios] Marantis, the USTR, and the interagency team who continue to support job creation in the creative economy.”