Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DVD piracy: Another reason to oppose Mexican trucks

The Teamsters may have actually missed a reason to close the border to Mexican trucks in the more-than-1,000 comments they submitted to the Federal Register.

We thought we had it all. We wrote about dangerous trucks, Mexico's inability to guarantee the safety of its drivers, the cost to American taxpayers, the unfairness of forcing American taxpayers to pay for equipment on Mexican trucks, the danger to border security, the loss of American trucking and warehouse jobs.

But now the Washington Post comes up with a new reason: Mexican drug cartels are trafficking pirated DVDs and CDs. That directly hurts the U.S. motion picture and recording industries, and the Teamsters who work in those industries.

Reports the Post:
Led by the notorious La Familia and Los Zetas drug mafias, Mexican cartels now take a big cut of the hundreds of millions of dollars in bootleg disks sold in Mexico each year, according to U.S. officials and representatives of film studios and software manufacturers...
Disk piracy and U.S. copyright violations are a challenge around the world, but in Mexico the sale of bootleg copies of “Toy Story 3” and Microsoft Windows XP are funding the powerful mafias whose relentless violence has left more than 35,000 Mexicans dead in the past four years.

Mexico has become the pirate capital of Latin America, exporting so many bootleg movies to Central America, for example, that the major studios no longer bother to sell their products on the shelves there, according to industry watchdogs.

So let's get this straight: The U.S. Department of Transportation is buckling to Mexican pressure to open the border to dangerous Mexican trucks. That pressure comes in the form of excessive tariffs on $2.4 billion worth of American goods exported to Mexico. And yet it's okay for Mexico to turn a blind eye to its criminals who are stealing from one of our major export industries.

We think there's something wrong with this picture.