The evils that piracy causes to the country

ETCO and FNCP coordinate a movement that brings together more than 70 entities in defense of the legal market. See some initiatives of this project.


Sometimes I get the impression that this is the piracy country, fraud and smuggling, such is the frequency with which these crimes occur among us. But I'm wrong, because in this sad championship, we wouldn't even win the medal and bronze, since China, Vietnam and more than 15 countries are ahead of us.

One thing is certain: the Brazilian society needs to win this war against fraud. It's a tough fight. On one side are the Brazilian population, companies, professionals and the government. On the other hand, the national and international leaders of piracy and smuggling are increasingly daring – almost all linked to organized crime and drug trafficking.

Read: Underground Economy moves BRL 1,7 trillion in Brazil and returns to the pre-pandemic pattern

the damage – Intellectual property in Brazil has been shamefully attacked, even with some complacency on the part of the majority of the population. In case of pirate software, the loss for the country was more than US$ 519 million (more than R$ 1,5 billion) in 2003. In other words, for every three programs or applications sold in Brazil, two are pirated.

If the reader wants to witness this scandal, in the open and in plain sight, right here in São Paulo, take a stroll through the old Galeria Pajé, through several stores on Rua 25 de Março, along the sidewalks and some stores on Rua Santa Ifigênia, or even in one of the prime spots on Avenida Paulista.

In addition to evading millions in intellectual rights from inventors, artists and authors, piracy eliminates jobs, scares away capital and makes it impossible to compete with serious companies that invest in research, pay their taxes and comply with all legal and tax requirements. Tax evasion is perhaps the least of your losses.

Read: Research reveals that one in three Brazilians has already bought contraband

It is also sad to recognize that the same majority of people who refuse to buy goods known to have been stolen, because it violates their conscience, do not seem to feel much guilt in purchasing pirated software, CDs and DVDs. As HP president Carly Fiorina said, on her visit to São Paulo, “ethics and technology do not evolve with the same speed”.

crime with impunity – Faced with the problem, what scares the most, however, is impunity. For the president of the CPI on Piracy in Brazil, deputy Luiz Carlos Medeiros, “it is incredible that the government and, in particular, the police, coexist with the most shameless piracy, because everything is done in broad daylight, in stores, in ports , in the most public and well-known places”.

The final report of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) on Piracy confirms the diagnosis that we all already knew and reveals the conclusions that we already expected. And it proposes, among other measures, greater rigor in the punishment of the culprits, the creation of a special body to combat piracy in Brazil, the National Council for the Defense of Intellectual Property and Combating Piracy.

Read: Advances that ETCO has helped to build in defense of competition ethics

Deputy Medeiros celebrates the beginning of the punishment of smugglers and fraudsters in Brazil: “In the past, nobody used to go to jail. In recent times, we already have judges, politicians, delegates and police in custody ”. And he adds, in a hilarious tone, that “of the 50 revenue inspectors who worked in Foz do Iguaçu, 49 were arrested for corruption; they just didn't arrest them all because one of them was on vacation ”.

Here and abroad - The problem - which is not only Brazilian, but worldwide - was debated by a hundred entrepreneurs and specialists, last Wednesday, during the Brazil Tech Forum event, promoted by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), in Sao Paulo.

Read: FNCP campaigns to raise awareness among Brazilians about the damage caused by smuggling and other illegal trade practices

According to Jeffrey Hardee, BSA's regional director, the problem is getting worse with the use of the internet to exchange files. But there are other causes – such as impunity in certain regions and easy access to pirate trade in emerging countries. It all adds up to raise the damage to the Brazilian economy.

In the software area alone, the damage caused worldwide by piracy is in the order of US $ 29 billion. The subject is being the subject of increasingly reliable research by the International Data Corporation (IDC) for the Business Software Alliance. The last of these surveys has the title of Global Software Piracy Study 2004, and refers to the year 2003.

According to the IDC study, the countries that champion software piracy are China and Vietnam (92%). Brazil comes in 11th place. The lowest fraud rates are in the United States (22%) and New Zealand (23%). In China, losses in this segment reach $ 3,8 billion a year, according to the most conservative estimates. In the United States, however, where the domestic market is often larger than the Chinese, the 22% share of the software market represents in absolute terms much more than the damage done in China.

Imagine the total amount of damage if we included pirating CDs, DVDs, music on the Web, drinks, electronics, and replicas of famous brand products, such as pens, lighters, bags, clothing, jewelry and shoes.

The State of S. Paulo, August 15, 2004