Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) helped to fund (along with the Ford Foundation) a massive study on media piracy in emerging economies led and published by the US Social Sciences Research Council in March 2011. It was a global effort also supported by Brazil’s Overmundo Institute and the Center for Technology and Society, Getulio Vargas Foundation; India’s Sarai: The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and The Alternative Law Forum; South Africa’s The Association for Progressive Communication; Russia’s The Centre for Independent Social Research and The Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology; and the US’s The Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property. I half expected to see China listed too and I find the absence surprising.
It was a March 8, 2011 posting by Mike Masnick on Techdirt that alerted me to the study. (from the posting),
… much in the report is extremely forward-looking and thinking. It goes into great detail how fascinating and innovative new business models are appearing around the globe where “piracy” is rampant, and suggests that we really need to rethink the idea of “piracy” in those markets. It highlights how almost all of the policy discussions in the west concerning infringement focuses on “enforcement,” but that may be the wrong way to go about it. The research, instead, points out that a better focus may be on setting up the structures for successful business models to emerge — which include local firms who can compete on prices …
The 440 page report, Media piracy in Emerging Economies, is available under various licensing agreements (free and pay).
Yesterday (June 1, 2011), I received a media advisory from the IDRC informing me of a panel discussion being held tomorrow, June 3, 2011,from 2 pm to 4 pm EDT in Ottawa (if you can’t get to the live panel discussion, you can view it via livestreaming webcast). From the media advisory,
Media Piracy in Emerging Economies, a landmark study co-funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), made headlines around the world earlier this year. The controversial study determined that this “global scourge” was better described as a global pricing problem: high prices for media goods, combined with low incomes and cheap digital technologies. The report underscored that attempts to police piracy aren’t working and that, in some cases, global enforcement has led to unintended negative socio-economic consequences.
In a panel discussion at IDRC on June 3, three internationally renowned experts will discuss the implications of media piracy for the global economy. Media Piracy in Emerging Economies editor Joe Karaganis, from the American Assembly at Columbia University, and one of the researchers, Ronaldo Lemos, from Brazil’s Center for Technology and Society at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas School of Law (who will appear via live stream), will be joined by technology law expert Michael Geist, from the University of Ottawa, to debate the issues as they relate to Canada and the world. [emphases mine]
You can to this page to register for the live event or click through to the livestreaming website.