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Cablegate: Setback to Anti-Piracy Effort in Brazil's Northeast

VZCZCXRO1224
PP RUEHRG
DE RUEHRG #0037 1301313
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 101313Z MAY 07
FM AMCONSUL RECIFE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0606
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0783
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 0334
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO PRIORITY 0330
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY 0032
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 0837

C O N F I D E N T I A L RECIFE 000037

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EB/TPP/IPE, DEPT PLEASE PASS USTR FOR VICTORIA ESPINEL,
CHRIS WILSON, SUE CRONIN AND JENNIFER CHOSE GROVES, USDOC FOR
ITA/MAC/OIPR CASSIE PETERS; SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 5/10/2010
TAGS: KIPR ETRD ECON PGOV BR
SUBJECT: SETBACK TO ANTI-PIRACY EFFORT IN BRAZIL'S NORTHEAST

CLASSIFIED BY: Diana Page, Principal Officer, AmConsulRecife,
State.
REASON: 1.4 (b)

Classified by Principal Officer Diana Page, Reason 1.4 (b)

1. (C) Summary: The lawyer leading the fight for intellectual
property rights (IPR) in the Northeast, Monica Lustosa, (PROTECT
NO FORN) told consular officers that due to concern for her
personal safety she will no longer publicly demand enforcement
of anti-piracy laws. She was shaken to learn that state police
personnel tasked with combating piracy were being reassigned --a
sign that efforts to crack down on the producers of pirated
goods were no longer going forward. The disarray in the local
police was confirmed by sources known to the Consulate security
officer, although Federal Police based in the Northeast remain
commited to enforcement of IPR. End Summary

2. (C) During a meeting at the Consulate April 13, Monica
Lustosa, President of the Northeastern Brazil Intellectual
Property Association (ANEPI) and coordinator of the American
Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM)/Pernambuco Strategic Group on
Intellectual Property told consular officers that she no longer
would be publicizing her work combating piracy because she
feared for her personal safety. She plans to continue working
for the protection of intellectual property rights and
technological innovation behind the scenes, but will avoid a
high-profile media presence until she feels her personal safety
can be guaranteed.

3. (C) Her concerns arose after meetings in March with
representatives of the local and state police in the city of
Caruaru, Pernambuco's second largest city, an industrial and
logistics center which is the principal source for pirated
products in the Northeast. During her meetings there, the
Pernambuco civil policewoman in charge of IPR efforts repeatedly
emphasized to each audience that Ms. Lustosa was spearheading
the Northeast's fight against piracy. The policewoman would not
talk to the press, but instead had Ms. Lustosa give a number of
television interviews. The policewoman, who was instrumental in
including piracy in a local telephone hotline to denouce crimes,
privately told Lustosa later that she was requesting a transfer
away from anti-piracy issues, implying threats had been made.

4. (C) Ms. Lustosa explained that the police hotline had
originally been created to protect wealthy Caruaru business
owners from kidnappings for ransom. Once the hotline was
expanded to include anti-piracy tips, the business community in
Caruaru, in particular business owners with police connections,
dropped support for it. Ms. Lustosa said she would consider
continuing to publicize the need for IPR protection, but only if
her personal security were protected and she were paid for her
work. For the time being, she no longer wishes to appear in the
media.

5. (U) Lustosa was selected for the Embassy's International
Visitor (IV) program to the U.S. in 2005, and she credits the IV
program with giving her the inspiration to form the Pernambuco
Strategic Group on Intellectual Property. She has since become
one of the leading anti-piracy voices in Recife and the State of
Pernambuco. She is president of ANEPI, a non-profit founded in
2005 to promote intellectual property rights and tp raise
awareness of the economic and social damage caused by the piracy
industry. Lustosa has been a prominent anti-piracy figure in
Recife media and has been a featured anti-piracy speaker at
numerous events. In 2005, at the urging of international and
local recording industry officials, she successfully lobbied the
state of Pernambuco to set up a specialized police unit to
combat piracy - the Specialized Division for the Prevention and
Repression of Brands and Products Falsification (NEPREFC).

6. (C) Comment: Post has independently confirmed
Lustosa's claim that local authorities have been pressured by
Pernambuco business interests to scale-back their anti-piracy
efforts. However, Federal Police units remain unaffected by
local pressure and are still actively engaged in anti-piracy
efforts. Given Lustosa's expertise and previous successes, the
fears that have curtailed her public efforts are a setback to
IPR protection in this region. End Comment.

This cable was coordinated with Embassy Brasilia.

PAGE

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