We recently spoke to an online-based video game distributor in Medellin Colombia who explained his fight against pirated versions of games he sells. In his hometown there is a district known for its black-market shops infamously called “El Hueco”, The Hole. For years Colombians were able to find knockoffs of well known American, Japanese, and Colombian brands. Today, he explains stores at “El Hueco” are providing more genuine merchandise to the public. The reason is that Colombian consumers today are demanding higher quality products. This change in consumer preference coincides with the improved state of Colombia’s middle class that has emerged over the last 10 years.
The game distributor explained that his online customers are willing to pay for higher priced video games because they equate higher prices to genuine products. In one instance, he offered to sell an original X-Box game for an inexpensive price, but the buyer asked to purchase “a higher priced version" of the game to ensure he got a genuine product. The distributor successfully sells genuine games through the internet because online customers expect to pay higher prices to acquire genuine products. The 2012 US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement also serves to curb the production of pirate products. In the case of music and motion picture piracy, the Free Trade Agreement penalizes counterfeiting and criminalizes
users of pirated products.
The Intellectual Property Rights Chapter of the 2012 US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement indicates that:
Each party [country] shall treat willful importation or exportation of counterfeit or pirated goods as unlawful activities subject to criminal penalties….
Remedies for the crime of piracy include sentences or imprisonment and monetary fines. Protecting your Intellectual Property is key in establishing your brand in foreign markets. Contact our team of Miami international trade attorneys at LOIGICA today and we’ll help you expand to Latin America.