BY CHRONICLE STAFF
Although Brazil is the darling of foreign investors in Latin America, multinationals operating in the country also complain about a major challenge - piracy of patents and trademarks, affecting everything from software to music.
"There's a lack of understanding among consumers and small companies about the value of being legal," says Hernan Rincon, Latin America president for U.S.-based Microsoft, the world's largest software producer. He singles out piracy as the single-most important challenge facing the company in Brazil, its top market in the region.
Legal software companies lost a whopping $1.1 billion in Brazil in 2006 due to piracy, according to the Business Software Alliance, a U.S.-based industry group. That was an increase of 49.9 percent from 2005. It also cemented Brazil as the worst offender (in real terms) in all of Latin America. The growing losses come despite Brazil's software piracy rates falling somewhat - from 64 percent in 2005 to 60 percent in 2006.
Brazil also suffers from major music piracy, complains Raul Vazquez, regional director for Latin America for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Some 1.5 billion songs are illegally downloaded in Brazil today. "It's been doubling over the last couple of years," he says.
The result: declining music sales despite Brazil's growing economy and purchasing power. In 2006, recorded music sales fell by 24.9 percent to ...
Keywords: Pharmaceuticals, Soerensen Garcia Advogados Associados, US Trade Representative's Office