Today, the Social Science Research Council released a large-scale study of music, film and software “piracy” in the emerging economies of Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Bolivia. Media Piracy in Emerging Economies is must-read for everybody interested in global media markets and the shaping of the international copyright framework.
Directed by Joe Karaganis, Program Director of the Social Science Research Council, some thirty-five researchers worked together over three years to produce this unique study. The country reports on South Africa, Russia, Brazil, India, Mexico and Bolivia provide a fascinating panorama of the diversity of cultures. They also follow some common themes: that of access to cultural goods, of the desire to be included in global culture and the differential effects illicit trade has on local culture, on the socioeconomics of advertising, pricing and consumption, the varied sources of unauthorized copies mostly in the form of optical discs but with the rapid proliferation of broadband Internet access increasingly through file-sharing, on the moral economies of justifying unauthorized copies and, most importantly for public policy makers, on copyright law on the books and the reality of private and government enforcement efforts in these countries and in the global arena.