Fighting Piracy is Fighting Illegality
In the most recent edition of the Inter-American Association of Telecommunications Companies (ASIET) magazine, Irma Salinas, Manager of Corporate Affairs at TIGO Honduras, details how piracy affects the entire digital environment – from content creators to telecommunications operators and the State, by not collecting fees and taxes – and also highlights the value of legality and fair competition that generates development in the countries.
Although the risks usually refer to the vulnerability of users and the security of their devices, this is only one of the many dangers of piracy. "Piracy has a negative impact on the economy since illegally broadcasted content affects the tax collection of states, resources necessary to be used in the most vulnerable sectors of countries such as education, health, and others. In the same way, it negatively affects companies that if they comply with their formal and material obligations, constitutes an act of unfair competition," explains Salinas.
Digital piracy leads to estimated losses of USD 733 million per year in Latin America, "naturally representing a heavy loss of resources for the tax authorities of the region," Salinas added.
From a legal point of view, those who transmit content without the authorization of its owners are violating the copyright and related rights protected by the laws of different countries, which constitutes a crime and a direct violation of the rights of the authors/producers/distributors of content that are exclusive to them.
"Piracy fosters disrespect for the rule of law and produces an atmosphere of legal insecurity. Combating piracy is about combating illegality. It is about creating a transparent and fair environment of competition. When piracy is controlled and combated, more taxes enter the State, allowing governments to carry out works and provide better services to their citizens," says Salinas.
This problem is growing in Central America, and countries cannot combat it, affecting the business of operators and content creators. 35 percent of the URLs analyzed1 from a search for online audiovisual content in the region led to illegal services or content. The same goes for 33 percent of the results in social networks and 26 percent in marketplaces.
"At Tigo, we are committed to working in the countries where we operate to achieve better opportunities while respecting the legal system and promoting healthy competition, which creates more opportunities and resources for all through the payment of taxes. It is for this reason that we work with local and international allies to raise our voices on the issue of piracy, with clear messages and specific recommendations for a solution to the problem," says Salinas. "We firmly believe that together, we will be able to create an environment of respect for intellectual property, strengthening our legal systems and the rule of law.”
To read the full article, go to the Digital Magazine | Telecommunications of Latin America by ASIET. July 2021 here.
 Report: 'Dimension and impact of online piracy of audiovisual content in Latin America' carried out by the consultancy Ether City for cet.la.