• Copy_of_s3011368
  • Copy_of_s3011365
  • Copy_of_s3011364
  • Cimg1545
  • Cimg1543
  • Bsascondom
  • Havanna_cafe
  • Fire
  • Bush_hitler
  • Burn

« Get to Work, America of the North! | Main | Why I hate Potosí »

May 03, 2005



It's an outrage indeed! People in Hollywood are starving to death and those dutch gangsters do as they please. It makes me SICK!


As a recent temporary resident of Sucre and one who, on occasion, attended the aforementioned movie nights at Joyride I feel compelled to comment.

A few points.

To me, the issue at hand isn't whether or not any IP or copyright infringement is taking place; rather, my concern is why exactly Joyride feels entitled to use movies purchased for around US$1.00 in the street as a means of making a profit. Given the costs of living and commercial real estate in Sucre, in addition to the (relatively) exhorbitant prices of Joyride's food, drinks, and tourist services, I am hard pressed to swallow the establishment's justification for charging "cover" for the films. Perhaps people do purchase less drinks while watching, but I would hesitate before attributing that to some ascetic vibe given off by movie viewing; in my experience, the moment the play button was hit at Joyride, the wait staff was MIA and you couldn't get a drink even if you tried. Regardless, how does a light night at the upstairs lounge (not th only bar in the establishment, nor the busiest) justify making people pay the equivalent of a ticket to a legitimate cinema to watch street copies?

Finally, let me mention that the drink prices at Joyride are among the highest I saw in Bolivia. Call me a miser, but this makes me less inclined to feel any sympathy with the rationale for movie night charges. What it boils down to for me is that nickle-and-diming is a regular phenomenon in much of South America and, no matter how you cloak it, this is just another example.

agustin, jefe maximo

Bolivia. A country where the most succesful restaurant chain, Dumbo, blatantly and publicly infringes on the Disney empire daily. The poorest economy in South America, and second poorest in Latin America, just behind Haiti. This is not the place to worry about IP infringement, but lets delve into it anyway for Gert and the sake of academics-

As a foreign business owner, it is wisest to comply to a reasonable extent to intl. IP norms.

Here are some suggestions in the case at hand:
-Purchase all movies, or as many as possible, from real retailers (eg., Amazon).
-Keep all contact w/ the Bolivian govt. in writing, especially as it pertains to licensing music and movies.
-Do not charge admission to the movies directly, it is far too blatant an infringement. Other options include: Drink and food specials to encourage more consumption, or drink minimums for certain areas of the bar during certain times. Remember, the movies are bringing in customers, not taking them away, and getting rid of the cover charge may indeed bring in larger crowds to the bar.

Lastly, I was surprised to see pirated new releases showing daily in bars on the plaza in Cusco, Peru. Similar setup as Joy Ride, but all without cover charge. That other bars are doing it doesn't mean it is "right" or even "legal," but it does mean that it is popular.

Either way, thanks to the Dutchies at Joy Ride for setting up a good Gringo getaway, and VIVA SUCRE Bolivia, everyone's favorite town in Central South America!!!


Hey, Interesting for me to read this as I own Joy Ride. I've given all that's said here thought before and I am in favour of protecting IP. The thing is I do want to offer my clients stuff that they like and as far as I know there's no way (in Bolivia) to pay the rights for showing the DVD's in public places when you charge for it. There used to be an organization called ASA or something but I haven't heard from them in years. At a certain point they charged for the music that we played in the bar. We paid a certain flat rate. I wondered if that money ever went anywhere near where it should have gone, corruption is major issue in this country. Anyway, I guess the only way to pay the rights due is not to use DVD's but to rent the celluloid movies that the real cinemas use. That's not an option for a lounge like setup that I have here. If it's any comfort, half of the DVD's that we use are originals, at least some money of those should go where it's supposed to go. There's a lot of stuff that I can't get with spanish subtitles at amazon.com for example so I buy bootleg DVD's. BTW I have yet to see the first original DVD for sale in Sucre. Bolivian's DVD/CD/MP3 collection is 100% pirated. I do agree with Aaron that (whether it's unethical or not) the extremely limited resources of Bolivians are stretched not a bit but a lot more through the bootleg industry. I think we can safely presume that IP and copyrights are not registered here in Bolivia because of the fact that putting up a system of control that avoids illegal copies from being sold would cost many many times more than whatever legal sales would generate. The country is too poor to pay anything over Bs. 12 (the current price of a bootleg DVD) for a DVD. Does that mean that therefore the country will simply have to be deprived from all that's going on in the world of film and music? I don't think so. Neither do I think it's right that all of the nation watches Star Wars III at home from illegal copies. But then my case: should I just eliminate the movies from the offer that we have because there's no system in place that allows me to pay for the rights? Should I show only original DVD's? Although still not paying for showing in public at least some money will then go to the owners of the rights. I know I won't be able to get all the titles that I want with in original versions, with spanish subtitles etc etc. Or should show them for free? I that case I won't be able to recuperate the investment that I put in the lounge as people drink a whole lot less when watching a movie. Anyway, hope this view from 'the other side' was of any interest for you. Let me have your comments!



A couple of thoughts...

Yes, there are copyright and patent laws on the books (created in 1992) to protect intellectual property. To qualify for protection, they must be registered in Bolivia (A copyright registered in the US is not protected, unless also registered in Bolivia).
The fact of the matter is that the enforcement of foreign intellectual property is not a priority in Bolivia. Over 1/3 of the population of Bolivia is under the age of 15, it is the least industrially developed of the Latin American countries, 64% of the population is below the poverty line, and underemployment causing havoc are lots of reasons for not funding IP enforcement.

The simple fact is that dollars could be better spent developing the natural gas fields, or supporting the agricultural industry. Furthermore, piracy will only allow the funds of the citizens to be stretched farther.


Carter! My booyyyyeeeeee.


You are so wrong my friend, so wrong!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Books I Have Read Abroad

  • paulo Cuelho: el alquimista
    Another book everyone RAVES about, and I only enjoyed a little bit. However, this was my very first complete novel read in Spanish, and I'm pretty proud of that. (**)
  • Khaled Hosseini: the kite runner

    Khaled Hosseini: the kite runner
    I don't know why so many other travellers in South America are reading this, and love it so much. I thought it a bit contrived, and written at an overly dramatic level. (**)

  • Jon Lee Anderson: Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life
    After reading this book, I respect Che for his conviction, as opposed to his actions, and can now intelligently argue my case with any college student or South America Fidelista. Oh, by the way, it was about 800 pages long, so it is a terrible idea to take it backpacking. (*****)


  • juanes - es por ti

    es por ti
    juanes: Mi Sangre

    es por TIIIII. blah blah blah blah corazon. (*****)

  • shakira - la tortura

    la tortura
    shakira: Fijacion Oral

    I dunno if this is playing in the states, cause it is in Spanish. Go download the VIDEO from somewhere, or shakira.com. You will see frightening pectoral isolation movements. Go go Alejandro Sanz, we all wish we were you. (*****)


Bolivian hot hits

Buenos Aries Rockin'

Bolivian Presidential Crisis 2005

  • Peaceful protests in Bolivia
    Bolivian President Carlos Mesa announces his resignation, in a move that would either polarize or save an already divided nation of Bolivia.

Stencil Graffiti Role Call - Buenos Aires

  • Cimg1495
    A growing collection of quality stencil graffiti in Buenos Aires.
My Photo