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The market for streaming creative content in Latin America is expanding rapidly. But as technology allows us the convenience of instantly watching a variety of content on multiple devices, anytime, anywhere, it also opens the door for tech savvy individuals to steal and resell content at a significant discount, to the detriment of U.S. creators. In recent years, the theft—or piracy—of copyrighted software, music, TV, and movie content has become a major concern in Latin America. From the downloading of unauthorized versions of copyrighted content from file-sharing sites, to illegally copying music using stream-ripping software or mobile apps, to the unauthorized use of illicit pay-TV streaming boxes to stream TV and movies, U.S. producers are having their content pirated at an alarming rate.
Although digital piracy can be stemmed if treated in an organized and systematic manner, law enforcement and other government officials in Latin America often lack the knowledge and resources to combat piracy effectively.
The IP attaché based in Peru organized a U.S. government–led training on digital IP rights enforcement. The training covered a wide range of topics, including:
- The prosecution of IP crimes
- Best practices in identifying suspicious sites and digital data stores
- Collecting and examining electronic data forensics
- A private-sector outlook for the theft of music, software, and movies
U.S. rights-holders also participated in the training, and were able to meet and strategize with Peruvian officials. In subsequent interactions, Peruvian officials were advised on matters such as search warrant strategy, charging of suspects, and best practices for seizing and examining digital devices.
Following the training, U.S. rights-holders informed the newly trained police and prosecutors about one of the most prolific digital piracy sites in the region: a Peru-based site that infringed on more than 5,000 properties belonging to U.S. copyright holders and that was attracting more than 25 million monthly visitors from throughout Latin America. Subsequently, Peruvian officials were able to seize the site and arrest the site’s operators.
The IP attachés are dedicated to safeguarding the value of Americans’ creative works. Thanks to connections with local IP and law enforcement experts, and the ability to organize and coordinate this digital IP rights enforcement training session, the USPTO’s Peru-based IP attaché in this instance was able to help educate and inform Peruvian police and prosecutors about digital piracy, thereby enabling them to more effectively combat digital piracy within their own borders.