With an eye on the USA


Source: O Globo, 30/09/2004

By Nelson Vasconcelos

Today is an important day for trade relations between Brazil and the United States. It is the last day of the deadline given by the American sheriffs to the Brazilian government, demanding actions and good intentions in the fight against piracy, which would be causing billionaire losses to US companies. The Bush administration beckons sanctions of around $ 2,5 billion below.

Whether or not the United States has the right to make such punishments is something to be discussed elsewhere. If they decide to punish the Brazilian economy, that is exactly what they will do, without guilt or shame, as is their interventionist habit.

Last week, the chief negotiator in the office of the United States Foreign Trade representative, Peter Allgeier, met here in Brazil with authorities and representatives of the industries. For many, it was the last American survey on the Brazilian illegal market, before a more vehement decision. Disrespect for intellectual property was at the center of conversations at last week's meetings.

? Americans should not take radical actions for the time being, but does the Brazilian government have to show that it is committed to fighting piracy? said a Brazilian businessman who participated in the conversations with Allgeier.

President of the extinct Piracy CPI, deputy Luiz Antonio de Medeiros has already said that it would be a shame to expect the United States to pressure us because of the informal market. For him, the internal problems would be enough to make us warm up.

? Piracy makes us lose R $ 30 billion, just due to tax evasion, and two million jobs to Asia, which represents a loss of sovereignty? said Medeiros yesterday to a news agency, also recalling that the quality of pirated products has increasingly harmed companies.


A study released this week by the Brazilian Association of Software Companies (Abes), in partnership with the Business Software Alliance (BSA), estimates that the country is losing at least 13 jobs in the technology industry each year due to the piracy in that market. Reports of this type are good parameters for those who intend to follow the immense Brazilian illegal market. Worse than that, they serve as an important reference for the American authorities, when it comes to clearing up their malevolences.

According to the study, the billing losses in the software area, only in the Southeast Region, will reach R $ 299,9 million this year. With that, the public coffers should stop collecting about R $ 75 million. In São Paulo, no less than R $ 174,8 million flees from legally constituted companies, while R $ 43,7 million in taxes disappear. In the State of Rio, the loss of revenue should reach R $ 65 million, with a R $ 16,2 million hole in the collection.

According to Abes, educational campaigns and repression actions have produced good results. The country's software piracy rate dropped from 77% in 1994 to 55% in 2003. It is worth comparing with the United States, where the rate of pirated programs is estimated at 24%.

The entity estimates that a 3,2 percentage point reduction in the piracy index would generate US $ 335 billion, with US $ 2,4 million in tax collection and US $ XNUMX billion in revenues for the local industry.


In time: software piracy can be reported by phone (0800-110039) or e-mail (telepirata@abes.org.br). Calls are free and can be made from anywhere in the country.

Between 1999 and 2003, the Telepirata service received 150 thousand calls. In 2004, more than ten thousand people were served, with approximately 4.500 calls and 5.600 e-mails. The profile of the respondent is equivalent to 77% of end users and 23% of pirated software resellers.