Council will help fight piracy


By Valderez Caetano, O Globo (Economy) - 15/10/2004

BRASILIA. The Official Gazette of the Union today publishes a decree by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva that creates the National Council for Combating Piracy and Offenses against Intellectual Property. Will six representatives from the most affected private sectors have a seat? like software, toys, cigarettes and audiovisual? and several ministries. The council will also have an executive secretary responsible, along with other government intelligence agencies, for implementing actions against piracy crimes.

The new council will replace the interministerial anti-piracy committee, created in March 2001, but which has made no progress in combating this type of crime.

According to the presidential decree, the ministries represented on the council will be those of Justice, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Development, Culture and Science and Technology. The Federal Police and the Presidency of the Republic will also have a seat. One of the council's duties will be to formulate a National Plan to Combat Piracy.

The council will also have the task of suggesting public awareness campaigns. The first of these should be about the risks and losses of purchasing contraband and pirated toys. The campaigns will be funded by the private sector.

The United States has used increased piracy in the country as an argument to impose a number of conditions on trade negotiations. They threaten to exclude Brazil from the General System of Preferences (SGP), a mechanism that allows richer countries to reduce the rates of products imported from developing countries.