Brazil’s soft anti-piracy laws and lack of coordinated policy on content theft need to be redressed urgently in light of chronic abuses, Total Entertainment CEO and Festival do Rio executive Walkiria Barbosa told delegates at a piracy panel on Monday (10).

Speaking at the Rio Market, where it emerged that in 2010 piracy amounting to 4bn Reals cost the federal government 1bn Reals in taxable income, Barbosa said: “Unfortunately the Justice Ministry’s not doing anything. Together with the government we must change the law in Brazil.”

The executive’s blunt declaration summed up the essence of a lengthy panel session in which a handful of speakers discussed the issue of ongoing global intellectual property theft.

Leonardo Racauchi of the Argentinean Chamber Of Exhibitors told attendees that piracy accounted for 1bn pesos in his country and referred to “an exponential growth based on the lack of consumer knowledge.”

José Werner of Dannemann Siemsen, a Brazilian attorney who is director of intellectual property advocacy group Angardi, called for extra safeguards against piracy prior to a film’s release.

Werner cited as good practice the arrangement on Fox’s local language hit Assalto Ao Banco Central, where Google agreed to remove links to sites selling illegal versions of the film ahead of its release.

Eric Walter, secretary-general of Hadopi, the French government agency named after the controversial Creation And Internet anti-piracy law, said 18 months after the body was set up there was still much to learn about consumer habits.

Hadopi adopts a three-step approach to illegal downloads. Offenders first receive an email warning, followed by a second warning accompanied by a hard copy of the letter and finally a threat that the offender’s internet access will be shut down for a year.

Walter remarked that since its inception Hadopi had asked service providers to identify around one million people from a pool of roughly 18m verifications of illegal behavior, of which 30-40,000 have received warnings.

“We are in a transition and the people will go back to a system that’s responsible, practical and respectful of each other’s rights,” he said.

Ana Paula Santana, Brazil’s national secretary of audiovisual, said the country needed to increase its anti-piracy efforts. “We still lag behind in terms of innovation because we have followed old logic,” Santana said. “We need inter-government action: the Ministry Of Culture needs to talk to the Ministry Of Justice, which needs to talk to the Ministry Of Development, Industry And Commerce.”

Barbosa added that Brazil’s National Council To Fight Piracy had been invited to the panel discussion but failed to show up. “They don’t do anything,” she said.

  • On Wednesday representatives from Conspiração, RioFilme, Pampa Films and Globo Filmes will announce the Brazil-France co-production, Rouge Bresil. The property is a film and mini-series to be directed by Sylvain Archambault.