In Brazil, from Drugs to Software, All Is Pirated

Brazil’s representatives of the commercial sector, the Receita Federal (IRS) and members of Congress are meeting in Rio de Janeiro to discuss their losses due to piracy in the areas of profits, taxes and jobs, besides consumer relations.

According to the Commercial Association of Rio, Brazil is near the top of the list of countries with high levels of piracy.


Pirated goods run the gamut from designer bags and clothes to perfumes and tennis shoes; from computer programs to watches to medicines to cigarettes to CDs and DVDs, not to mention bateries and sunglasses.


A congressional investigation (CPI) found that Brazil loses some US$ 5.2 billion (15 billion reais) annually in tax revenue because of falsified products.


As a result of the investigation five bills are in Congress dealing with the issue. And a National Council on Intellectual Property and Piracy Combat was established.


According to the Rio Commercial Association, high taxes burden commercial activities and are largely responsible for the growth of piracy, contraband goods and tax evasion in Brazil.


Awareness


For a three-month period, which has just ended, some 1,800 movie theatres around Brazil have shown a series of shorts, each about 45 seconds long, on the damage done by piracy.


The film shorts compared piracy to robbery and attempted to make people aware of the problems created when they buy counterfeit films or make unauthorized downloads.


There are 120,000 jobs in the Brazilian audiovisual sector which pays some US$ 64.4 million (200 million reais) in taxes annually.


However, it is estimated that losses due to piracy reach almost double that – around US$ 119.5 million (370 million reais), not to mention the loss of 17,000 jobs.


Out of every three CDs or DVDs sold in Brazil last year, one was pirate.


A congressional investigation (CPI) discovered that piracy in Brazil is a big business run by organized crime, literally.


“We have to make people aware of the fact that piracy causes unemployment, fraud and tax evasion, besides strengthening organized crime,” says deputy Luiz Antonio de Medeiros, who was the chairman of the CPI.


Agência Brasil
Translator: Allen Bennett

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