This report provides a window on digital convergence in emerging economies—a process for which piracy has been, with cell-phone use, arguably the lead application. It explores the fifteen-year arc of optical disc piracy, as discs replaced cassettes and, later, as small-scale cottage industries replaced large-scale industrial production. It traces the first real challenge to that distribution channel in the form of Internet-based services and other forms of large-scale personal sharing. It looks at the organization and practice of enforcement—from street raids, to partnerships between industry and government, to industry reporting and policy lobbying. And it explores consumer demand and changing consumer practices, including the consistent indifference or hostility to enforcement efforts of large majorities of developing-country populations.
The report consists of nine chapters: a broad introduction to piracy and enforcement; an introduction to the international politics of IP governance; country studies of South Africa, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, and India; and a concluding chapter that looks back to the history of the international book market for lessons about the relationship between presentday pirates and incumbent cultural producers.
Some thirty-five researchers and nine institutions were centrally involved in this project over its three-year arc, though a full accounting would include dozens of sources, readers, and reviewers who contributed generously, and sometimes anonymously. A lengthy, but inevitably partial, list of credits appears in the back matter of this report. Media Piracy in Emerging Economies was made possible by support from the Ford Foundation
and the Canadian International Development Research Centre.