Media piracy study
‘Towards Détente in Media Piracy’ is a two
-year project thatexamines the nature and extent of media piracy and the effect of anti-piracy legislative and enforcement frameworks on access toknowledge in South Africa. The research phase began in January 2008 and finished in April 2009. It was carried out by researchersfrom APC and several South African universities and forms part of a larger study by research teams in Russia, India, Brazil, Mexico,and Hungary, on media piracy in their respective national contexts. The full report by the Social Sciences Research Council(SSRC), Media piracy in emerging economies,is now available for download. The South Africa research report comprises:
a detailed study of enforcement infrastructure and the anti-piracy industry, including government structures, industrylobbies, corporate legal firms, and the links to judicial and police strategies. This will also include details of ownership of media and recording industries. Attempts will also be made to evaluate the costs involved in fighting piracy
and if suchcosts are greater than any gains.
the opening of a different debate on piracy other than the standard ones of enforcement and criminality. This debate canlead to wider discussions of cultural needs and community practices of sharing and circulation, in societies characterizedby conditions of high social inequality. This will include both debate and discussion within South Africa and betweenproject partners in countries such as Brazil, India and Russia.
the analysis of methodologies for gathering statistics in enforcement literature retailed by media industry lobbies in order to test presumptions the quality of the data. This will include analysis of the International Intellectual Property Alliance(IIPA) methodologies and the impact of such studies. Such statistics are utilized by international enforcement bodies andinternational and local rights holders to limit any debates about intellectual property to issues of piracy and legislative andenforcement frameworks.
an understanding of the nature and extent of piracy amongst different communities in South Africa
and the reasons for piracy. This includes:1. analysis of piracy as an economic sector (jobs),2. the diversity of supply of pirated goods (what is pirated and what is not and why),3. the extent of sales of pirated local goods vs. international goods,4. whether or not piracy has assisted in facilitating the emergence of cultural industries on the periphery,5. distribution networks6. examining what drives the growth of the piracy business (i.e. is it a pricing problem, supply problem or a timingproblem?). Note that different communities may be pirating goods for different reasons.7. whether or not piracy supports licit sales.8. explore the extent and forms of digital piracy by broadband internet users.