WASHINGTON Feb 28 The United States on Monday
again put China's top search engine, Baidu Inc (BIDU.O), on its
annual list of "notorious markets" for counterfeit and pirated
goods, fueling U.S. business community hopes for action in
Congress against "rogue websites."
The U.S. Trade Representative's office said Baidu was the
most prominent example of online services that use "deep
linking" to steer buyers to "allegedly infringing materials,
often stored on third-party hosting sites."
Deep links take web users to a specific point within a
website without first going to the website's home page.
Baidu was recently ranked as the No. 1 most-visited site in
China, and among the top 10 in the world, USTR said.
USTR released its annual list of notorious Internet and
physical markets two months earlier than usual. It said it
would now publish the list separately, instead of in a larger
annual report on global intellectual property theft at the end
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Congress needed to pass
legislation giving U.S. courts new authority to block foreign
websites that sell pirated or counterfeit goods from operating
in the United States.
"Criminals who operate these markets are stealing the best
of American creativity and innovation," Steven Tepp, senior
director for Internet counterfeiting and piracy at the business
group, said in a statement.
USTR took aim at a number of other Chinese marketplaces,
both on and off the web.
"Industry reports that personal computer malls throughout
China, such as Hailong PC Mall in Beijing and Yangpu Yigao
Digital Square in Shanghai, sell computers with illegal
operating system software and other unlawfully pre-installed
software," USTR said.
It chided Russia for similar physical markets and websites
that offer pirated music.
"While the Russia-based allofmp3 (formerly the world's
largest server-based pirate music website) was shut down in
2007, nearly identical sites have taken its place," USTR said.
There are also notorious physical markets for counterfeit
and pirated goods in Ecuador, Paraguay, Indonesia, Argentina,
Hong Kong, India, Ukraine, Philippines, Thailand, Mexico,
Pakistan and Colombia, USTR said.
(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Philip Barbara)