Thursday, 25 February 2010

Mexico: first survey of piracy

The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI, in Spanish) announces that from February to April it will be conducting surveys in two of its cities (ciudad de León and Guanajuato). The purpose is, according to the Institute, ‘to understand the habits of consumption and the views of the inhabitants of that city in relation to this phenomenon’.

While I do see this means of approach as an intention to protect IPRs, I cannot figure out how so. I better explain myself.

Last time I visit my family I went to purchase some CDs with the latest ‘latin music’, and to my amaze there was not one single High Street Music Store that sold ‘originals’. Moreover, there were everywhere – streets and malls. This is not all. The presentation and quality of those sold at the mall were extraordinary beautiful and of course very cheap. The same happen when my mother arrived with rented DVDs, they were not original and the answer was that there were not places where to get them (after being called snobby!).

After enquiring, as a normal consumer, I became aware that there were different prices for these ‘non-originals’ products, depending though on the quality. Moreover, after telling the DVD shop that the rented movies were not original he replied very politely: do you want your money back?

The moral of the story is that counterfeit appears to have a market on its own and besides, it appears to be extremely common giving you the sensation that it is legal.
I just wonder how the IMPI is going to promote and disseminate the benefits of the IP system if the consumers are happy to buy counterfeit products. Of course the examples that I gave are the date to date and most common ones and the one that appear not to harm customers. But, as said, I just would like to see how surveys will help the IMPI.

1 comment:

Olga Luz said...

That's the perspective that authorities and International organizations miss everytime they address counterfeiting (piracy) in Mexico. They really like to emphasize that it is a commercial, economic and social problem, when actually, we do not have the culture nor habit to buy original products. There are not many places to get a decent variety of original products, be CD's or DVD's, videogames or cloth. And then, whenever you find such a place, the prices of the goods are simply not competitive to the same goods you find in the streets (now the counterfeit goods in Mexico are being slowly replaced by goods irregularly imported).