Pirates Raided in Mexico


Retailers involved in computer and video game piracy at the Pericoapa Bazaar in Mexico City were raided last Saturday, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today. Working with representatives from the ESA, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) undertook administrative actions against seven vendors involved in the distribution of pirated and counterfeited computer and video games. Hundreds of illegal copies of game software were seized in this effort, the first enforcement action taken by the ESA’s new Mexican anti-piracy program.

"Mexico is an important market for ESA members due to the enormous popularity of entertainment software," said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. "Unfortunately, Mexico also has an alarmingly high rate of piracy that by some estimates exceeds 75%."

The Pericoapa Bazaar is one of the most popular shopping areas on the south side of Mexico City and is a center of black market activity for pirated computer and video games. According to reports, the Bazaar has hundreds of stores selling a variety of goods, including legitimate game software. The raids and seizures highlighted the easy availability of pirated entertainment software product sold at the Bazaar and throughout Mexico, making it difficult for legitimate game retailers to earn a profit. The ESA is working with Mexican enforcement officials to pursue additional actions against game pirates in Mexico.

In support of the fight against piracy in Mexico, the ESA recently established an anti-piracy program to increase the level of anti-piracy activities against game piracy and to raise the visibility of the game industry’s enforcement actions in Mexico. The ESA, working together with local counsel and local representatives of its member companies, is in the process of implementing an enforcement plan against "hot spots" where pirate game products are sold, as well as against importers and producers of pirated game products in Mexico. Recognizing the important role that law enforcement has to play in this effort, ESA greatly appreciates the involvement of IMPI in supporting the recent actions and its understanding of the damage that piracy causes the game industry, as this is clear evidence of their concern regarding this problem and their commitment in fighting the local pirates.

The ESA is the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. ESA members collectively account for more than 90 percent of the $7.3 billion in entertainment software sales in the U.S. in 2004, and billions more in export sales of American-made entertainment software. The ESA offers services to interactive entertainment software publishers including a global anti-piracy program, owning the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show, business and consumer research, government relations and First Amendment and intellectual property protection efforts.

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