Combating Piracy

By ETCO
25/07/2005


By Orlando Morando Junior, O Diário de S. Paulo - 25/07/2005


In large and medium-sized Brazilian cities, it is increasingly common to find products from the most varied pirated brands every block. Coming mainly from China, these goods have the only attractive price.


 Click here to view the article published in Diário de S. Paulo [PDF - 115Kb]

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Combating piracy

By ETCO
24/06/2005


Gazeta Mercantil, 24/06/2005


The main world record labels have asked, in Madrid, that governments cooperate in the fight against piracy, which has become an illegal multimillion dollar market and developed in several countries, including Brazil, Spain, Paraguay and Mexico. In 2004, 1,2 billion pirated discs were sold, that is, 34% of the total discs sold worldwide.


In 31 countries clandestine sales exceed legal sales, IFIP said. In the list of 10 countries most affected by piracy, Kennedy mentioned Russia, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Ukraine, India, Paraguay, Mexico, Brazil and Spain. The world market that drives disk piracy was estimated at? 3,725 billion per year in 2004 ($ 4,6 billion), of which? 333 million correspond to China and? 364 million to Russia, according to the IFPI.


In Brazil, despite the partial recovery of the market last year, sales of pirates "surpass" legal sales, said the phonographic federation, which considers the government's decision to create an anti-piracy agency that will try to solve the problem "encouraging".

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Combating piracy

By ETCO
22/04/2005


Valor Econômico, 22/04/2005

The President of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), Minister Edson Vidigal, defended yesterday the creation of specialized courts in the fight against piracy. The proposal was presented during the IX Ibero-American Conference on Industrial and Intellectual Property (Ibeam IX), which takes place in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. During the Vidigal conference, he mentioned some advances, such as the creation of specialized police stations in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the reformulation of the customs system and the approval of Bill No. 11/2001, which establishes new sanctions and procedures for crimes against industrial property, still pending in the Senate.

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Combating piracy

By ETCO
28/02/2005


The State of São Paulo, 25/02/2005

Since the opening of the economy, in the early 90s, when in the wake of legal imports, irregular imports increased, the federal government has neglected to fight piracy. He surrounded himself with effective legal instruments to punish those who harm companies and public coffers, but he never managed to effectively enforce the rules of repression against counterfeiting and smuggling. The consequences of the government's inertia went beyond the country's borders, turning the issue into a serious dispute with other countries.


Today, Brazil is part of Special 301, the United States Department of Commerce's black list, which includes countries that do little to combat piracy and are therefore subject to commercial retaliation. Again, this year, the American government warns that the country is increasingly close to being excluded from the General System of Preferences (SGP), a mechanism that reduces the rates of products imported from developing countries. Of the Brazilian products exported to the United States, 13% are part of the system and account for revenues of US $ 2,5 billion.


The gravity of the situation does not seem to affect the federal government, which, in recent years, has failed to respect the deadlines set by the United States and other developed countries for effective measures to be taken to combat piracy - that is, for the police, ranchers and enforcement agencies to implement legislation to protect intellectual property rights, which is admittedly one of the most perfect in the world.


A few days ago, the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), one of the leading intellectual property organizations in the world, sent a report to the Department of Commerce, recommending that the American government impose sanctions on Brazil. According to the report, the country ignored the series of proposals contained in the Piracy CPI report, and has shown insignificant results in controlling the activities of counterfeiters.


Last year, an ultimatum had already been given to the Brazilian government, which should, in September, present concrete programs to combat piracy. The federal government's only attitude, however, was to publish, on the eve of the expiry of the term, a decree creating the National Council to Combat Piracy and Offenses against Intellectual Property. The group would have as main attribution the elaboration of the National Plan to Combat Piracy, but its first meeting only took place in January of this year. Washington preferred to turn a blind eye to non-compliance and granted an additional 180 days, which expire on March 31, for the federal government to present an effective plan to combat fraud.


The Brazilian government, however, wastes time. In an interview with the newspaper Valor, the executive secretary of the board, Márcio Costa de Menezes e Gonçalves, informed that the members of the group will only meet on February 27 and 28, one month before the deadline. However, he warns in advance: "It is difficult to draw up such a plan in two days, but we will have at least a well-drawn sketch." This “outline”, however, has existed since the Interministerial Committee to Combat Piracy was created in 2001. What is expected is the effective repression against piracy that causes, according to a study conducted by the Brazil-US Business Council, annual evasion of taxes in the amount of $ 30 million to $ 60 million. Counterfeit goods cause a loss of $ 1,6 billion in unrealized sales and the disappearance of 1,5 million formal job vacancies. Estimates of industry losses from piracy in Brazil reached US $ 931,9 million in 2004.


The fight against piracy is not, therefore, something that only interests the United States and the industrialized countries that produce technology. It corresponds to the most legitimate national interest, which is why the Brazilian government's laxity in repressing the counterfeiting industry is not understood, since it is one of the most profitable branches of organized crime, it should be energetic and systematic.

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Combating piracy

By ETCO
25/02/2005


The State of S. Paulo (Editorial), 25/02/2005


Since the opening of the economy, in the early 90s, when in the wake of legal imports, irregular imports increased, the federal government has neglected to fight piracy. He surrounded himself with effective legal instruments to punish those who harm companies and public coffers, but he never managed to effectively enforce the rules of repression against counterfeiting and smuggling. The consequences of the government's inertia went beyond the country's borders, turning the issue into a serious dispute with other countries.


Today, Brazil is part of Special 301, the United States Department of Commerce's black list, which includes countries that do little to combat piracy and are therefore subject to commercial retaliation. Again, this year, the American government warns that the country is increasingly close to being excluded from the General System of Preferences (SGP), a mechanism that reduces the rates of products imported from developing countries. Of the Brazilian products exported to the United States, 13% are part of the system and account for revenues of US $ 2,5 billion.


The gravity of the situation does not seem to affect the federal government, which, in recent years, has failed to respect the deadlines set by the United States and other developed countries for effective measures to be taken to combat piracy - that is, for the police, ranchers and enforcement agencies to implement legislation to protect intellectual property rights, which is admittedly one of the most perfect in the world.


A few days ago, the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), one of the leading intellectual property organizations in the world, sent a report to the Department of Commerce, recommending that the American government impose sanctions on Brazil. According to the report, the country ignored the series of proposals contained in the Piracy CPI report, and has shown insignificant results in controlling the activities of counterfeiters.


Last year, an ultimatum had already been given to the Brazilian government, which should, in September, present concrete programs to combat piracy. The federal government's only attitude, however, was to publish, on the eve of the expiry of the term, a decree creating the National Council to Combat Piracy and Offenses against Intellectual Property. The group would have as main attribution the elaboration of the National Plan to Combat Piracy, but its first meeting only took place in January of this year. Washington preferred to turn a blind eye to non-compliance and granted an additional 180 days, which expire on March 31, for the federal government to present an effective plan to combat fraud.


The Brazilian government, however, wastes time. In an interview with the newspaper Valor, the executive secretary of the board, Márcio Costa de Menezes e Gonçalves, informed that the members of the group will only meet on February 27 and 28, one month before the deadline. However, he warns in advance: "It is difficult to draw up such a plan in two days, but we will have at least a well-drawn sketch." This “outline”, however, has existed since the Interministerial Committee to Combat Piracy was created in 2001. What is expected is the effective repression against piracy that causes, according to a study conducted by the Brazil-US Business Council, annual evasion of taxes in the amount of $ 30 million to $ 60 million. Counterfeit goods cause a loss of $ 1,6 billion in unrealized sales and the disappearance of 1,5 million formal job vacancies. Estimates of industry losses from piracy in Brazil reached US $ 931,9 million in 2004.


The fight against piracy is not, therefore, something that only interests the United States and the industrialized countries that produce technology. It corresponds to the most legitimate national interest, which is why the Brazilian government's laxity in repressing the counterfeiting industry is not understood, since it is one of the most profitable branches of organized crime, it should be energetic and systematic.

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Combating piracy

By ETCO
21/01/2005


Jornal Nacional (Globo), 20/01/2005


Police officers who specialized in combating piracy left the police station in the North Zone of Rio early. Destination: Baixada Fluminense. There, three trucks loaded with music CDs were waiting for the escort. A load of more than 20 tons, valued at R $ 3 million.


The train took the BR-040, which connects Minas Gerais to Rio de Janeiro, and in 40 minutes it reached its final destination. The material was taken to the Maracanã lawn. In addition to music CDs, computer programs, videotapes, DVDs and merchandise seized by the police.


With the products a way was found to say no to piracy. A million goods spread across the field. Stacks of material, cut with an electric saw.


The destruction was accompanied by foreign police agents, who came to know the Brazilian program to combat pirated products.


“If the people decide not to buy more pirated records, piracy ends. The greatest power that exists in any type of campaign is the popular will ”, points out the singer Alcione.


The material that started to be destroyed at Maracanã Stadium will be destined for recycling. Illegal copies sold on the street that will become hangers, buckets and pen tubes.

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Combating piracy

By ETCO
05/11/2004


The State of S. Paulo, Editorial - 31/10/2004


President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed, a few days ago, a decree that creates the National Council to Combat Piracy and Crimes against Intellectual Property. The initiative was taken close to the end of the deadline given by the US government for Brazil to toughen up measures to combat piracy, under penalty of exclusion from the General System of Preferences (SGP), a mechanism that reduces import tariffs on products sold developing countries. Of the Brazilian products exported to the USA, 13% are part of the system and account for revenue of US $ 2,5 billion.


One of the attributions of the National Council to Combat Piracy and Offenses against Intellectual Property will be to elaborate the National Plan to Combat Piracy. It is expected that the public authorities do not wait for the conclusion of this document to start acting or the new council will have the same frustrating performance as the old Interministerial Committee to Combat Piracy, created in 2001. It is in the interest of the country that good results are obtained at in the short term and, for this, the Police, the Federal Revenue Service, public ministries and city halls must act together and permanently.


The Municipality of São Paulo, the piracy capital in Brazil, for example, failed to fulfill its role on the same day that the presidential decree was signed. Municipal authorities inaugurated the “pop center” of the Bolsa Cerealista, on Avenida Senador Queirós, housing 600 street vendors. With the inauguration, Mayor Marta Suplicy fulfilled, in part, the promise to organize the city's street commerce, returning the center to pedestrians and encouraging the revitalization of the region.


But “pop centers” should be a factor in inhibiting the sale of counterfeit and smuggled products. The original project established that street vendors could only sell goods of legal origin, proven through invoices. On the opening date, however, Nike and Reebok caps, Adidas bags and Hello Kitty accessories, all obviously counterfeit, were on display at the newsstands, in view of the impassive authorities present. Only a leader of the street vendors was willing to remind the occupants of the boxes the obligation to sell exclusively legalized goods.


The municipal administration has turned the street vendor issue into a problem of urban planning only, when it is also a case of the police. Transferring the tents from the sidewalks to a closed building is a very limited action. It is necessary to close the drains where the pirated products flow and resume the work of the task force that, over the past year, brought together the State Prosecutor's Office, the Federal Revenue Service, the Federal Police, subprefecture inspectors, the Public Security Secretariat and others in the fight against trade in smuggled goods. In addition to the negative economic repercussions, street commerce guarantees the survival of the former mafia of inspectors. From time to time, cases of corruption still appear in the subprefectures.


For two consecutive years, Brazil has remained on the US Department of Commerce's black list as a country that does little to combat piracy. In August, the USTR gave 90 days to initiate actions against the piracy mafia, under penalty of exclusion from the SGP, a term that ends in November.


A study carried out by the Brazil-US Business Council, published a few days ago by the newspaper Valor, reveals an annual loss of US $ 30 billion to US $ 60 billion in tax collection in the country due to piracy. Counterfeit goods cause a loss of $ 1,6 billion in unrealized sales and 1,5 million formal job vacancies. More than 60% of all software used in the country is pirated and this industry fails to earn US $ 1 billion per year. Of all CDs sold, 52% are counterfeit, as well as 30% of DVDs. The fight against piracy is therefore not an imposition by the United States. It interests, above all, Brazil.

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Combating Piracy

By ETCO
18/08/2004

Folha de S. Paulo, August 14, 2004


The Piracy Parliamentary Inquiry Commission ended its work with a favorable balance. The report by deputy Josias Quintal (PMDB-RJ) denounces more than a hundred people for involvement with gangs linked to the trade in counterfeit goods, smuggling and tax evasion. The CPI has also formulated proposals aimed at better combating this category of crime, which has created serious problems for the country, not only economic, but also diplomatic, since the Brazilian government has been strongly pressured by the USA to adopt tougher measures and effective.


CPI proposed the creation of a new body, the National System to Combat Piracy and Counterfeiting, in order to coordinate policies and promote integration between the police. In addition, it suggested draft laws providing for increased penalties for a variety of offenses. In the case of smuggling and receiving crimes, the merchant who sells irregular goods, regardless of the possibility of being arrested, may lose the right to engage in commercial activity.


These are suggestions that contain some positive aspects, but that, by themselves, will not change the current situation. Creating a public body to combat piracy is the classic “solution” for bureaucratic countries, which do not miss the opportunity to form commissions and inaugurate new acronyms - with new directors, advisers, etc. As for the aggravation of sentences, even if, in this case, it seems reasonable, it tends to have reduced effects.


The key to cracking down on piracy is that it is exercised with rigor. It is not exactly what has been happening in the country. It is enough to circulate through the great Brazilian cities to verify that the pirate trade is practiced in the open in easily identifiable places. It is also essential that measures be taken in relation to border control and neighboring countries, where this type of activity thrives freely.