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Mexico: digital downloads and copyright


Last week, the Coalition for Legal Access to Culture (a body that represents artistic and cultural industries such as the Society of Authors and Composers, the Association of Phonogram Producer and the General Society of Writers and many others) presented, along with Ipsos (one of the world’s largest research companies) a report regarding Digital Downloads.The main line was to try to stabilize the copyright on the Internet.

According to the Coalition, the cultural sector in Mexico accounts for 6% of GDP, and its international level is located at number six of the 20 countries that most exported cultural property - the only Latin American country on the list. Roberto Cantoral, chief executive of the Coalition said that "although the works are intangible products, reform is urgently needed to protect our creativity as we can not compete against the illegal and gratuitous.” He explains that there is an increasing interest in its legislation. He mentioned that the problem is likely to worse when the bandwidth grows in the country – at the moment is 2G while European countries have 10G.

During the press conference, it was reported that during 2009 only in Mexico were downloaded illegally a total of 5100 million songs, a figure 15 times the number of records sold that year; 470 million videos, 24 million movies, 16 million TV shows; 26 million books; and over 1878 million protected images.
Among the Internet sites with the highest number of illegal download are: Ares (71%), YouTube (58%) and limewire (14%) among others. The final results is a loss of 13 billion pesos for the industry.

The Coalition proposes to strengthen cultural heritage and advice to fight piracy in favour of online copyright. To achieve this, Roberto Cantoral explains: “ there is the need to force manufacturers of digital music players such as MP3 to pay a ‘right’”. He adds there should be an adjustment to Internet Service Providers – creating strategies that protect copyright. Roberto Cantoral said that in the end, "we seek the intellectual product to be protected equally as any other commercial product that is purchased in a convenience store". I do agree.

Federico de la Garza, director of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), said that in Mexico there is a legal gap with respect to which authority is responsible for preventing this illegal activity. Roberto Cantoral, president of the Coalition, said the amendment to the Industrial Property Act to prosecute ex officio to piracy, is not enough. "We will conduct an awareness campaign directed at the civil society, industry and government to address this issue," he said.

The initiatives have already been sent to the House of Representatives and the coalition hopes that next year the laws come into force.

For more info click here, here and here.

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