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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08LAPAZ2221 2008-10-14 22:39:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy La Paz
Cable title:  

BOLIVIA: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS STILL MIA

Tags:   ECON EINV ETRD KIPR BL 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L LA PAZ 002221 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/09/2018
TAGS: ECON EINV ETRD KIPR BL
SUBJECT: BOLIVIA: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS STILL MIA

Classified By: A/EcoPol Chief Brian Quigley for reasons 1.4 b,d



1. (SBU) Summary: Emboff met on October 8 with
representatives from a number of intellectual property rights
(IPR) stakeholder groups including music and composers
groups, the Bolivian book chamber, cinematic organizations,
and IPR law. It was the first time many in the group had
ever met, despite their respective roles as the heads of
Bolivia's IPR organizations. Much of the meeting was spent
bemoaning the state of IPR in Bolivia and what they described
as the complete lack of cooperation from Bolivian
authorities. End summary.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
Enforcement Impossible
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2. (SBU) Participants described attempts to arrange
enforcement actions (such as raids of shops selling pirated
goods) as hopeless, since the Bolivian agencies involved are
underfunded and unwilling to confront vendors who are often
backed by piracy "guilds". Ana Patricia Navarro, president of
the Bolivian Book Chamber, described her fruitless attempts
to evict a vendor of illegally photocopied books who had set
up shop on the steps of the Chamber itself. Enriqueta Ulloa,
president of the composers' and authors' organization and
locally-famous singer, described a moderate success: at her
concerts she begs the audience to buy the official CDs from
her crew and not the pirated CDs for sale just outside the
venues, and she was happy to report that "most people want to
support me, so they a pay little more to buy the real thing."
She shrugged and added philosophically, "But probably only
that one time."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Impact of "Socialized" Art
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



3. (C) IPR stakeholders in Bolivia are increasingly worried
by the socialist rhetoric of the government and what they see
as an assault on private property in general. Edwin Urquidi,
lawyer and former head of the Bolivian IPR agency SENAPI,
phrased his advice as, "We need them to change the
regulations, but we don't want them to change the regulations
the wrong way." Rafael Urquizo, an official with the Book
Chamber, pointed out that the ruling Movement Toward
Socialism (MAS) party's draft constitution bases property
rights on "social good," and the assembled participants
questioned whether their rights as authors would lose out to
the public's "social good" rights under a new constitution.
(There are no Bolivian pharmaceutical innovators, so no one
present mentioned the constitution's clause that states that
"the right of access to medicines may not be restricted by
intellectual property rights...")



4. (C) Ulloa related that on a recent, private trip to
Venezuela, she asked the Bolivian ambassador to arrange a
meeting with an official in the Venezuelan ministry of
culture (she did not remember the official's name.)
Reportedly, the Venezuelan official proudly claimed that she
herself uses only pirated goods and that intellectual
property must be "socialized" for the good of the people. "I
didn't push it, because who knows what she might report back
to our government," Ulloa said, "but I'm afraid that's what
we're looking at here. When they say 'socialized' they mean
we will have to give away our hard work."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Educating Through Public Diplomacy
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5. (SBU) Ulloa went on to describe some successes she's had
recently in IPR public diplomacy. She said she always tries
to make a public event, with press coverage, when she
presents artists with checks (ironically most of the money
that the composers' and artists' group receives comes from
America, after people contact the organization to get
permission to use her members' music in Bolivian-American
festivals.) She related a recent event, with press, in which
she presented a check to the prefect (governor) of Oruro.
The governor is a Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) ally of
President Evo Morales, but he is also a locally-famous
composer of traditional dance and protest songs. Ulloa used
the presentation to highlight the importance of paying
composers to use their music: she reported that the governor
confessed it was the first time he had ever received money
from the use of his songs. Ulloa then reminded the governor
that the dancers and musicians in the world-famous Oruro
Carnival need to pay her organization for the rights to use
her members' music.



6. (SBU) Ulloa is currently engaged in a quixotic campaign to
encourage various local governments, including the
municipality of La Paz, to pay for the use of her members'
compositions in municipal celebrations like the famous "Gran
Poder" of La Paz and carnivals. She pointed out that the
cities benefit greatly from these large festivals, adding
that her organization has tried to make a special deal with
the cities, charging them only 2 bs per event per participant
(roughly thirty cents per person.) Despite this bargain, she
reported to the group that the cities are not cooperating.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Little Hope for International Intellectual Property
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7. (SBU) In a previous meeting with Ulloa and Noemi Valdivia,
president of the local musicians' organization, the two
Bolivian singers told Emboff of the La Paz mayor's decision
to grant licenses to vendors of pirated goods, as long as the
vendors promised not to pirate Bolivian works. Both Ulloa
and Valdivia mocked this caveat, stating that the vendors
continued to sell pirated copies of their and other artists'
works. The mayor's proposal was raised again in the October
8 meeting, and the participants again ridiculed the
possibility of protecting Bolivian works while freely
pirating international intellectual property. As Ulloa put
it: "Once you've said that it's okay to pirate some movies,
some songs, who will listen when you say 'but not ours'?"
The assembled IPR stakeholders, however, were almost entirely
focused on their own plight: clearly they do not have the
ability to worry about protecting U.S. artists' interests,
although they did express hopes that their organizations
might be able to join forces with international groups, to
benefit from their experiences and budgets.

- - - -
Comment
- - - -



8. (C) Ulloa, the most militant of the group, suggested that
the organizations and their members march to gain attention,
"and if they gas us, so much the better--I say that even
though I'm a singer!" The group seemed to generate
enthusiasm by sharing their experiences, and a number of good
ideas were broached, but in the end the final
decision--despite Emboff's efforts to explain that the
Embassy does not have funds to support their expansive wish
lists--was that they should meet again to finalize proposals
to be submitted to the Embassy. We hope to be able to help
them connect with other sources of funding, such as AmCham or
American companies. (Note: the April 2008 World IPR day
festivities in La Paz, including publications, public
presentations, street signs, and a free concert, were
primarily funded by donations from British American Tobacco
and Pfizer. End note.) Bolivian IPR organizations also need
to continue their efforts on their own behalf and under their
own initiative. Lacking funding and government support,
however, IPR organization in Bolivia will for the foreseeable
future continue to sing a "Lamento Boliviano" (Copyright 1994
EMI Odeon SAIC, all rights reserved.) End comment.
URS