Piracy and the economic consequences associated with it gave rise to the Civic Anti-Piracy Movement on the Internet (MAPiNET), an initiative that arises from the awareness of some people around ACAPOR – Association of Audiovisual Commerce of Portugal – who depend on cultural industries who are daily subject to counterfeiting.
The movement announced its campaign and motivations yesterday and today met in a small demonstration at the Assembly of the Republic, where those responsible were received by parliamentary groups. The purpose of the visit was to deliver the movement’s manifesto to the parties, in an attempt to raise awareness among the Government of the sector’s situation.
Among the objectives highlighted in the manifesto, the opening of laws to penalize the counterfeiting of musical, cinematographic and literary works reproduced for placement in networks stands out peer to peer. Combating this type of crime quickly through an appropriate transposition to the Portuguese reality of the Olivennes agreement is a hypothesis although, in the opinion of those present at the demonstration, the total cut of the Internet to offenders «is not a solution», stressed some members of the movement to TeK.
The national standards for this area are from 1991, a law which, for MAPiNET, is «too outdated» and which makes it practically impossible to detect cases of infringement that are made in the eyes of all.
In the opinion of those responsible, one of the dilemmas lies in the Portuguese Penal Code itself, where the traffic data used in online communications are considered private and equated to telephone calls. The difference is that in none of the situations provided by the law for wiretapping – communications like those of the Internet according to the norms – most cybercrimes are included.
The position divides opinions and, on the consumer side, the biggest concern seems to be the invasion of privacy to which they may be subject if access control passes to the operators. Carlos Eugénio, from the anti-piracy department of the Federation of Videogram Editors, explained to TeK that MAPiNET’s motivations are not to monitor consumer access, but to implement systems that prevent users from downloading files on illegal platforms. Another possibility would be the establishment of partnerships, similar to those that already exist at the international level, that allow revenue sharing and that, in some way, ensure the rights of the creators of the works.
The event also spoke of the ease with which current users can make free downloads given the offers of unlimited traffic, which raises the blame for the high piracy rate in Portugal (7th in the world) beyond the laws.
Currently, it is estimated that the audience in national cinemas has decreased by one million viewers and that 300 video clubs have closed. In the music sector, revenues have fallen by 60 percent and jobs have been halved in recent years. In times of crisis, not even the book sector escaped.