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You boot it, we’ll loot it

25 November 2009

Making the news rounds today is the American Chamber of Commerce’s (a Mexican business organization for U.S. owned or managed companies) study claiming close to 90 % of Mexicans buy pirated products.

I would have expected the figure to be closer to 100 percent.  Mexico at one time restricted foreign music and film distribution on the pretext of protecting the national culture, but with NAFTA, the pent up demand for foreign pop culture exploded.  With some weird results — like the Village People’s Y.M.C.A. being a staple at children’s parties and other age-inappropriate weirdness, like grannies into rap and teenagers happily singing along with old 1980s hair band staples.

At any rate, given that pop music distributors set the prices for their products at the U.S. rate, what are people to do except turn to the less expensive Mexican produced product.  At prices commensurate with Mexican incomes.  All hail the Tepito disk burners, and the twenty peso CDs.  Yup, I buy em too.

And, as to software… as a Deloitte Touche executive once pointed out to me, if Mexicans can’t get foreign software, they’re not going to buy the foreign computers… and with the software priced as if it were sold in the United States, the only way to sell computers is to accept that a lot of the software is off-site unregistered backups.

Can’t trust those güeros…

HOWEVER, when it comes to books… of course you should pay Mexican publisher’s prices.  And the bookshop, especially if you’re a tourist.  I’m a bit flattered that some Australian was interested enough in my Gods, Gauchupines and Gringos (and, yes I know the website is down this morning) to steal it.  But, really… the 395 peso cover price is a … um… steal.  Especially compared to what it’ll cost him if the MEXICAN shop owner has him arrested and deported as an undesirable alien.

Or, since it cuts into my royalties, staked to an anthill… whichever comes first.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 25 November 2009 9:57 pm

    LOL–my sympathies. You know you’ve done good when someone considers it worth stealing. I hope you’ll be reimbursed!

  2. 26 November 2009 4:13 pm

    It shows the Aussie had good taste, or needed a door stop or something to balance the table. (I use mine for the latter)

    We all know that Aussies are an illiterate bunch if the book doesn’t have pictures.

    Happy Turkey Day my friend

  3. non book stealing australian permalink
    26 November 2009 5:04 pm

    given the average mexican reads 2 books a year (stats are from awhile ago), wouldn’t tourists be your main market…
    and not all Australians need pictures, sometimes we need big print too.

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