Click here to close now.

Welcome!

GovIT Authors: Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Jeffrey Abbott, Kevin Jackson, Brad Thies

Related Topics: Search, Microservices Journal, Web 2.0

Search: Blog Feed Post

Piracy in Developing Countries

“The elephant in the room” they thought was piracy

Joe Karaganis, of the Social Science Research Council, is giving a talk at the Berkman Center on a six-country study on media (music, film and software) piracy. The study began in 2004 and should be available in March.

NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people.“The elephant in the room” they thought was piracy. Previous studies on access to media tended to avoid the issue of piracy. “The media ecology is still an ecology of piracy.” “We saw a role for a broader social-scientific approach to these issues.” The point of diminishing returns had passed for increasing the strength of IP laws, he says, so countries have been focusing on enforcement. “We began to frame a project that would ask a different set of questions.” It wanted to look not only the costs of piracy, but also at the benefits especially in developing countries. At first, they were more interested in skeptically examining industry reports, but many others started doing this, so it became less of a focus. They’ve tried to separate piracy and counterfeiting, which are usually considered together, because “they have less and less to do with each other in actual practice.”

Three areas of research:

Pricing: The persistence of high and relatively uniform media prices in the developing world; the industry wants to protect the value of their goods in Western markets rather than worrying about making it available in the developing world. Uniform and high prices plus poverty is pretty much the recipe for piracy.

The structure of policymaking: The primary role of the RIAA is to filter info about piracy into the US Trade Representatives and other policy-making organizations, through the IIPA. The IIPA has stimulated many studies on piracy globally and ahs set the terms of the debate.

The organization of enforcement.

Joe shows a table of prices of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida in six countries. The legal price ranges from $8.50 in India to $20.50 in S. Africa (US dollars), but compared to the local incomes, the price is $760 in India and a “mere” $75 in Mexico. But the pirate price in India is $0.40-$1.2, with a corresponding drop in the price compared to local income. The prices are much lower for legal copies of domestically-produced CDs. Same is true for movie DVDs. Where a local company owns its distribution, the prices tend to compete with pirates. Joe says that over the past 10 years, the price of pirated copies has dropped to very close to marginal prices. We’re at a transitional moment, he says, to purely digital media.

He shows a chart of the structure of policy-making organizations, with industry associations feeding into the IIPA, which hands them off to the USTR, which then passes them through 85% of the time. Joe says the study has spent a lot of time unpacking the IIPA’s annual table of losses due to piracy in multiple countries; the data is opaque, although it’s becoming less so. (The IIPA does not compile info about the US.) The table shows “levels,” i.e., what percentage of media in a country are pirated. In Argentina, it’s 75% of business sw. In Brunei, it’s 100% of music.

A questioner points out that not every pirated work would have been purchased if it could not be pirated. Joe says the report goes into the methodological terrain pretty deeply. But, he says, “the default is secrecy” in these reports. “All of this is a black box, and very deliberately so.” He says that their credibility has so eroded that they’d do better to become more transparent.

The USTR can put you on a watch list, priority watch list, and a priority foreign country list “which is a fast track to sanctions.” The acceptance of the WTO, however, meant that sanctions could not be applied to WTO members (because it requires multilateral processes), so the sanctioned countries graph flatlined. The number of warnings, however, went up.

There are few prosecutions in most countries, but lots of raids to confiscate goods. The raids become the punishment. “The industry groups have successfully enlisted the police” but have run into obstacles on the judicial end. In the few cases that can be prosecuted, there are “spectacular punishments.” There has been competition for enforcement resources among companies that have access to them. The industry is so woven into the enforcement process, they can direct and even fund the raids. “There’s just no boundary between public and private power.” Film companies are the best at deploying state resources. The demand for enforcement gives rise to business models, starting with bribing the police, to blackmailing people who have been detected with infringing materials.

Q: Is it understood by the populace that they’re doing something illegal?
A: Yes, but it’s an everyday activity.
Q: Are people worried about being caught?
A: Other countries than the US don’t focus on consumer-level enforcement.
Q: In my country people don’t know it’s illegal.
A: In our research, there’s usually no ambiguity. The lower price is the figure.

Q: Correlations?
A: There are loose correlations between GDP and piracy, but they vary according to media type. The content business model is to keep prices high and just wait it out for incomes to go up. Of course, the price of tech is dropping faster than income is growing.

Piracy is de-formalizing, he says. It’s no longer the small storefront. It’s the street vendor and others less vulnerable to raids. Enforcement against retail optical disk sales has worked. But that just pushed it out into the street.

Q: Do the charts include works that are distributed as unlicensed as intended?
A: It’s a black box.

Q: Do people have a reason to buy legal works for anything except fear of enforcement?
A: There’s no fear of enforcement. People buy legal works only for other reasons. In several of the countries, there are home-grown enforcement campaigns that come from domestic artists.

Q: What will be the take-away of the report?
A: It won’t be liked by industry lobbyists because it departs from the theft narrative that has defined the debate. It’s written from the perspective of the developing economies, where the reasons and conditions for piracy are just not part of the piracy of debate. You never hear about problems of pricing, for example. Our goal is to encourage developing cvountries to ssert more control over their IP policies and enforcement in order to enrich their own culture.
Q: Is there anything a developing country can do about pricing?
A: Depends on the sector. E.g., the biz sw strategy is to allow rampant priacy to ensure universal adoption, and then they begin to enforce against the most vulnerable institutions: municipal gov’ts, etc. What’s the source of open source platforms here? Most govts have no demonstrated any consistent open source adoption strategy. A lot of half-baked strategies, but few fully implemented ones. But that seems to be an adequate outcome. They want a ubiquitous platform of supported sw, which they get with pirated copies of Windows and MS Office. The OS advocates are often being gamed by MSFT’s high-level strategy. “This is an optimal strategy for the software companies. Microsoft wouldn’t have it any other way.” The enforcement rhetoric doesn’t match the sw companies’ strategies. MSFT could enforce Windows 7 piracy in China, but if they did, Linux would be the standard overnight. They’re still growing 30%. If you’re an open sw advocate, piracy is a real problem [because it lets countries use Microsoft for free]. The President of Romania in 2007 at a press conf with Bill Gates in 2007 said that piracy is part of their relationship with MSFT. [It's a national freemimum policy - dw]

By the way, Joe says, they’ve found no connections between piracy and drug trafficking, prostitution, organized crime, or terrorism. There are little overlaps but nothing systematic. This is despite industry claims that piracy funds organized crime and terrorism.

Joe points to the famous Jack Valenti quote that the VCR is to the US film industry what the Boston strangler is to a woman at home alone. [God bless Valenti! We miss you, Jack! - dw] On the other hand, Robert Bauer of the MPA has said (Joe says) that we should treat piracy as a signal of unmet demand and that the task is then to “find a way to meet that demand.”

Q: To what are things like Blu Ray an attempt to stay a step ahead of pirates?
A: It recreates scare production, and thus the conditions for smuggling-based pirate economies. There are always opportunities for that to re-emerge. Blu Ray at the moment has no impact on the markets we looked at.

More Stories By David Weinberger

David is the author of JOHO the blog (www.hyperorg.com/blogger). He is an independent marketing consultant and a frequent speaker at various conferences. "All I can promise is that I will be honest with you and never write something I don't believe in because someone is paying me as part of a relationship you don't know about. Put differently: All I'll hide are the irrelevancies."

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Cisco and our partners are building the platform for the Internet of Everything by connecting the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Liaison Technologies, a leading provider of data management and integration cloud services and solutions, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Liaison Technologies is a recognized market leader in providing cloud-enabled data integration and data management solutions to break down complex information barriers, enabling enterprises to make smarter decisions, faster.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Open Data Centers (ODC), a carrier-neutral colocation provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Open Data Centers is a carrier-neutral data center operator in New Jersey and New York City offering alternative connectivity options for carriers, service providers and enterprise customers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that On the Avenue Marketing Group, a sales and marketing firm that utilizes events to market and sell products to consumers, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. On the Avenue Marketing Group (OTA) is a sales and marketing firm that utilizes events to market and sell products to consumers. On behalf of our clients, we attend thousands of fairs, festivals, expos, concerts, conferences, and sporting events annually, helping them reach millions of individuals ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ActiveState, the leading independent Cloud Foundry and Docker-based PaaS provider, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. ActiveState believes that enterprises gain a competitive advantage when they are able to quickly create, deploy and efficiently manage software solutions that immediately create business value, but they face many challenges that prevent them from doing so. The Company is uniquely positioned to help address these challenges thro...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® and DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo® and DevOps Summit 2015 Silicon Valley, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that kintone has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. kintone promotes cloud-based workgroup productivity, transparency and profitability with a seamless collaboration space, build your own business application (BYOA) platform, and workflow automation system.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Akana, formerly SOA Software, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Akana’s comprehensive suite of API Management, API Security, Integrated SOA Governance, and Cloud Integration solutions helps businesses accelerate digital transformation by securely extending their reach across multiple channels – mobile, cloud and Internet of Things. Akana enables enterprises to share data as APIs, connect and integrate applications, drive part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and sim...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SafeLogic has been named “Bag Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. SafeLogic provides security products for applications in mobile and server/appliance environments. SafeLogic’s flagship product CryptoComply is a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic engine designed to secure data on servers, workstations, appliances, mobile devices, and in the Cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that StorPool Storage will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. StorPool is distributed storage software that allows service providers, enterprises and other cloud builders to run data storage on standard x86 servers, instead of using expensive and inefficient storage arrays (SAN).
SYS-CON Events announced today that Site24x7, the cloud infrastructure monitoring service, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Site24x7 is a cloud infrastructure monitoring service that helps monitor the uptime and performance of websites, online applications, servers, mobile websites and custom APIs. The monitoring is done from 50+ locations across the world and from various wireless carriers, thus providing a global perspective of the end-user experience. Site24x7 supports monitoring H...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud, a provider of enterprise resource planning software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. B2cloud develops the software you need. They have the ideal tools to help you work with your clients. B2Cloud’s main solutions include AGIS – ERP, CLOHC, AGIS – Invoice, and IZUM
SYS-CON Events announced today that Intelligent Systems Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1994, Intelligent Systems Services Inc. is located near Washington, DC, with representatives and partners nationwide. ISS’s well-established track record is based on the continuous pursuit of excellence in designing, implementing and supporting nationwide clients’ mission-critical systems. ISS has completed many successful projects in Healthcare, Commercial, Manufacturing, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vicom Computer Services, Inc., a provider of technology and service solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. They are located at booth #427. Vicom Computer Services, Inc. is a progressive leader in the technology industry for over 30 years. Headquartered in the NY Metropolitan area. Vicom provides products and services based on today’s requirements around Unified Networks, Cloud Computing strategies, Virtualization around Software defined Data Ce...