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Ecuador's ex officio anti-piracy enforcement hits constitutional snag

A combination of inertia on the part of rights owners and ease of infringement has seen a massive surge in the amount of infringement of copyright in recorded music and videos.  While iit is open to the Ecuadorian Intellectual Property Institute (IEPI) – the body responsible for monitoring and protecting IP rights – to initiate actions ex officio if such rights are infringed, the high costs involved and a lack of personnel, infrastructure and adequate technology has meant that the IEPI has been unable to combat piracy effectively.

The IEPI has so far initiated actions ex officio under the Intellectual Property Act against 26 stores which sold unlicensed CDs and DVDs, inflicting fines of approximately $1.8 million on each occasion. If such fines are not paid, criminal action will be taken. In response to these actions the Ecuadorian Association of Audiovisual Product Traders has filed a constitutional claim against the IEPI under Article 325 of the Constitution.

Source: "IP authority initiates ex officio anti-piracy actions", written for International Law Office by Santiago R Bustamante (Tobar & Bustamante Abogados).

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