Anti-piracy targeting mafias


Published in the newspaper O Globo, 19/03/2005

BRASILIA. The Chinese, Lebanese and Korean mafias will be the main targets of the National Council to Combat Piracy (CNCP), which concluded that these factions are the main distributors and producers of counterfeit goods entering Brazil. The idea is to save street vendors, who are at the end of the chain and cannot be held responsible for illegal trade.

? The era of romantic piracy is over. We are dealing with criminals, with mafias that also deal with drug and arms trafficking. Won't arresting street vendors do you good? said Luiz Paulo Barreto, executive secretary of the Ministry of Justice.

He announced new measures out of a total of 99 actions to combat piracy and protect intellectual property that will be applied in a maximum of two years. One of them is the stricter control of the entry of inputs, such as blank CDs and DVDs? because there is evidence that the quantities imported are greater than the demand for the manufacture of legal products.

? In 1997, 3% of CDs were pirated. In 2003 the percentage rose to more than 50%? said Barreto.

Barreto added that all of this contributes to an annual loss of R $ 84 billion in taxes and contributions that are no longer collected. And he emphasized that, with the end of predatory competition between the formal and counterfeit products markets, more than two million jobs could be created.

Barreto admitted that, in general, people prefer to buy pirated products because they consider the authentic ones expensive. Therefore, the government and the private sector discuss how to expand access to these goods.

? CDs can have a popular series, packed in plastic bags, for example, because the cover makes the product more expensive. The same is true with books and didactic works.

Campaign will have as its motto? The cheap is expensive '

The creation of two repression divisions is in the implementation phase: one of Repression against Contraband, within the Federal Police, and another of Descaminho and Combating Piracy, in the Federal Highway Police. The Ministry of Justice is also accelerating the process of expelling foreigners involved in intellectual property offenses from the country.

In addition, with the aim of speaking directly to the consumer, a broad advertising campaign is concluding, showing the disadvantages of buying counterfeit goods, with the motto "Cheap is expensive".

The planned actions were reported to the US government. A mission from the Ministry of Justice and the Foreign Ministry was in Washington taking stock of the measures taken in defense of intellectual property. The United States threatens Brazil with sanctions, on the grounds that little has been done in this sector.

For the members of the CNCP, formed by representatives of various government agencies and the private sector, the myth that piracy is a social phenomenon has ended: it is linked to organized crime.