The U.S. Trade Representative today released a request for public comment regarding its Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets. 76 Fed. Reg. 184 (published Sept. 22, 2011). In its summary of the request, the USTR explained:
See summary (emphasis added).
The first Out-of-Cycle review of Notorious Markets was published in February 2011, following a similar request for public comments, and is available on the USTR site. The 2011 Annual Report (published in April 2011 with country reports and a watch list) is also available.
The deadline to respond with comments is October 26, 2011. Specifically, the USTR is looking for detailed information about potential markets “where counterfeit or pirated products are prevalent to such a degree that the market exemplifies the problem of marketplaces that deal in infringing goods and help sustain global piracy and counterfeiting.” Id. ¶ 2a. If possible, the USTR would like to see location of the market, principal owners/operators (if known), types of products sold, distributed or otherwise made available, volume of traffic of the website (such as the Alexa ranking), and any known enforcement activity against it (including any requests for takedown of infringing content and the site’s response). Id. ¶ 2b.
The USTR will maintain a docket of public comments received about these markets, which will be open for public inspection, except for certain confidential business information, pursuant to 15 C.F.R. § 2006.13. This docket should be available here. (My apologies in advance if this link doesn’t work – there were no comments posted when I tested it, but I think the link will be active soon. As an alternative, visit http://www.regulations.gov/, search for public submission and enter “USTR-2011-0012” in the Keyword or ID field.)