Industry will be represented on the anti-piracy council


By Vicente Vilardaga, Gazeta Mercantil (Notebook A - 6) - 25/11/2004

Brasília, November 25, 2004 - The Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, inaugurated, yesterday, in Brasília, the National Council for Combating Piracy and Offenses against Intellectual Property, which has representatives from various ministries, from the National Congress , the Federal Police and the six industries most affected by counterfeiting, such as phonography and software.

The council will coordinate the measures to repress piracy and, according to Bastos, "it will work at the level of intelligence, strategic planning and operations". Data collected by the McKinsey consultancy and released during the launch of the agency indicate that the production, distribution and sale of fake products cause losses of R $ 84 billion in tax collection and inhibit the supply of two million jobs.

According to the minister, with the council, the fight against piracy in Brazil, currently carried out in a disjointed manner, will enter a new phase, in which educational measures will be in tune with national and international repressive operations, triggered by the police and the IRS.

The council, too, will act directly with the industry, proposing formulas that guarantee the increase in the competitiveness of legal products in relation to counterfeit products. One way to achieve this goal is to reduce the prices of products affected by counterfeiting.

In the case of software, the piracy rate, according to André de Almeida, representative of the Brazilian Association of Software Companies (Abes) on the board, is 61%. According to the International Data Group (IDC), of every ten programs sold in the country, six are pirates. In the case of audiovisual products, counterfeiting represents 35% of the market, and in the phonographic business exclusively, the percentage of piracy reaches 52%.

According to Almeida, most pirated software (two thirds) is installed on personal computers sold by small integrators that operate in the national market. Piracy of computer programs, therefore, is strongly linked to the “gray” market, which represents 75% of PC sales in the country. Operating systems and desktop applications are included at no cost to the consumer on the PC and dramatically increase the levels of falsification. "The decrease in the piracy rate is a stimulus to economic activity, generating tax revenue for the government and generating jobs," he says.

Bastos also said that at the meeting of Ministers of Justice and Interior of the Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay), today, agreements will be signed that will result in actions to combat piracy and cigarette smuggling.