[A2k] Media Piracy in Emerging Economies Report launched

Sean Flynn sflynn at wcl.american.edu
Mon Mar 7 08:37:16 PST 2011

SSRC has launched its Media Piracy in Emerging Economies report at


The first paragraph of the introduction provides a nice overview of the
project's concept: 


Media piracy has been called "a global scourge," "an international
plague," and "nirvana for criminals," but it is probably better
described as a global pricing problem. High prices for media goods, low
incomes, and cheap digital technologies are the main ingredients of
global media piracy. If piracy is ubiquitous in most parts of the world,
it is because these conditions are ubiquitous. Relative to local incomes
in Brazil, Russia, or South Africa, the price of a CD, DVD, or copy of
Microsoft Office is five to ten times higher than in the United States
or Europe. Licit media goods are luxury items in most parts of the
world, and licit media markets are correspondingly tiny. Industry
estimates of high rates of piracy in emerging markets-68% for software
in Russia, 82% for music in Mexico, 90% for movies in India-reflect this
disparity and may even understate the prevalence of pirated goods.


This is a comprehensive study that looks at the political economy of
piracy and attempts to shift the discourse away from criminality to
understanding the economic basis for piracy, as well as its creative
life in the social and cultural realm.



Sean M Fiil Flynn

Associate Director

Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property

American University Washington College of Law

Washington D.C. 20016


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