"India’s Personal Data Protection Bill and draft Non-Personal Data Governance Framework are examples of initiatives that potentially threaten innovation and economic growth," read one of the concerns outlined by the office of the United State Trade Representative (USTR) Special 301 report that was released earlier this week. The USTR's office essentially looks to secure US trade interests across the world and its annual report compares the adequacy of Intellectual Property (IP) protections put in place by US trading partners like India which has been placed on a 'Priority Watchlist' in this year's report. Countries on the watchlist will be the subject of 'extensive bilateral engagement' over the year. Further, India's name was included due to concerns following extensive consultations with various foreign governments and 'non-government' stakeholders, the report said. Specific areas of concern raised in the report Inclusion of non-personal data in the Data Protection Bill: "The United States on several occasions and in various fora has raised IP concerns regarding the potential implementation of India’s data governance regime," the report said. It recommended a transparent consultation process so that stakeholders can get enough time to comment on the draft legislation, given acute IP concerns due to India's "outdated and insufficient framework for protecting trade secrets". Prevalent online piracy practices like stream-ripping: The report flagged the popularity of 'stream-ripping' in India which is a method of creating unlawful copies of copyright-protected works distributed through licensed streaming sites. Other piracy practices, such as online piracy which involves illegitimately distributing copyright-protected works, camcording inside movie theatres,…
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