By Nelson Vasconcelos, O Globo (Pirataria S / A) - 16/12/2004

In just over a month, the Cataratas operation seized more than R $ 10 million worth of pirated goods in the Brazilian border region with Paraguay. And as smuggling is not much nonsense, the joint operation also managed to block the entry into the country of 786 kilos of marijuana, cocaine, crack and even perfume launchers, among other drugs. By the way, I didn't even know that the perfume launcher still existed.

The operation to combat smuggling and piracy began on November 8. It provoked tremendous protests at the Friendship Bridge, mainly by traders and even by Paraguayan authorities. All, of course, concerned with the drop in revenue.

Initially, the organs involved in the Cataracts operation? such as the IRS and the Federal Police, among others? should continue activities until the end of this month. But there are already those who say that it would not be a bad idea if the operation was extended for another year, at least. It would be even better if it became definitive:

? We will recognize the merit of the operation, but do we know that two months is very little time for an effective fight against piracy? says a source linked to the Executive. ? Surveillance must be permanent. Otherwise, in two months' time the situation will remain absolutely the same as three months ago.

According to this source, the inspection and seizure work at Cataratas would have to be carried to all ports and airports in the country. Great work, without a doubt, that could give good results:

? An intensive operation of this type makes smugglers hibernate on the Paraguayan border and look for alternative entrances in other states in the country. We have to surround borders on all sides.

Here, then, is a case to be considered. Meanwhile, the partial balance sheet of the operation says that 29 vehicles have been inspected so far, 139 of which have been seized or detained. Among the products that left circulation, the joys of Christmas: video games, CDs, perfumes and computer equipment.

The figures show that it is possible to obtain positive results when the repression takes to the streets. And the issue is far from the fight against street vendors. As we know, they are the weakest point in this industry.


The international music industry continues to sizzle: in the first three quarters of this year, CD sales fell 10,7% in volume and 12,2% in value, compared to the same period last year. The companies say that the illegal exchange of music over the internet (P2P or "peer-to-peer" on sites like Kazaa) remains the biggest villain.

With this, the industry is dedicated to suing users, but the truth is that it will not achieve anything very positive in these processes.

In the meantime, they create alternatives, like the official portals. The legalized online music market accounts for only 4,5% of sales worldwide. But, says the American consultancy Forrester Research, the sector will grow in 2007, when it can reach one billion euros in Europe, hitting 3,5 billion in 2009.

OUTSIDE 1: US and Malaysian officials will meet in January. On the agenda, the fight against pirated and counterfeit copies. American sheriff William Lash, secretary of commerce, acknowledged that this is not a problem exclusive to Malaysia, but to both countries. "Pirates threaten the reputation of countries and industries, as well as the safety and health of consumers," he said.