Defending its global battle against piracy, the Motion Picture Association of America sent vice president Greg Frazier to Brazil this week to speak on how content theft affects companies and creativity. The executive took a ‘zero tolerance’ stance on piracy, even as a Brazilian reporter asked the hard questions.
TorrentFreak surmised that Frazier’s trip was likely a bridge building mission after past issues between the organization and former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, among them a photo of the ex-leader with The Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde.
Much has changed since that picture was snapped: Sunde was sentenced last year to an eight-month stint in prison for his part in operating the illicit Swedish site, and Lula’s successor Dilma Rousseff – Brazil’s first female president – took office on New Year’s Day this year.
However, piracy in South America continues unabated even as many citizens face more serious issues than which Hollywood blockbusters to illegally view.
Frazier was unswayed by a point broached by Folha reporter Diógenes Muniz, that if a large percentage of a population is struggling just to survive, copyright violations are the least of their concerns.
“Even if you battle to put food on your plate, it is immoral to steal,” said Frazier according to the translation.
Discussing Creative Commons, Frazier pointed out that the MPAA and CC supporters don’t always see eye-to-eye. “They don’t always agree with what we advocate. And you are talking about democratizing culture, this is not in our interests,” he admitted. “It really isn’t my interest.”
On the other hand, Frazier sees piracy as a direct threat to creativity and culture: “If you do not believe in the value of creativity, the importance of protecting it and the need to reward those who produce, then maybe you can justify piracy. But in that case you’ll be doing great harm to culture.”
Last month a study found that stricter anti-piracy laws would have little effect on the amount of worldwide piracy, citing the exorbitant cost of software in countries like Brazil as a motivating factor behind the crime. (Folha via TorrentFreak)