UPDATE to post: “Costa Rica decriminalises IP offences”

I have a couple of updates to the recent post on IP offences being decriminalised in Costa Rica.  I put out some questions asking what the implications of this news was and received the following comments from some CAS-IP colleagues.

Guat Hong Teh wrote:

“You asked about implications. Well, this is a tricky question. I wonder if there is data showing that criminalising IP ‘offences’ actually make it less likely that people would commit such IP offences. I think a huge problem is enforcement. The other is the nature of the world we live in today. This is the Internet era; some even call us the ‘download generation’. It’s so easy to share and sharing results in more creativity and new ideas. I think the challenge is for corporations to think of new business models.”

Francesca Re Manning made the following comments and raised the following issues:

“It is a strange decision that the Government of Costa Rica has decided to take considering that in most jurisdictions, like the UK, intended infringements, like counterfeiting or piracy, have become criminal offences. The questions are:
 – is it because the government was not able to enforce it and believed that leaving it to the individuals to regulate would have been more effective? The message that it sends is that IP either is not worth it being enforced from a criminal point of view or cannot be enforced.
– is there a political pressure from somewhere that pushes towards relaxing IP enforcement?”

One response to “UPDATE to post: “Costa Rica decriminalises IP offences”

  1. Molefe Mahlabegoane

    I think the criminalising IP offences is indeed a very tricky subject, considering that more than half of the world’s population do fall under the category of IP “offenders”. Enforcement of IP laws becomes a huge problem. Imagine half of a country’s population waiting for their day in court. Imagine half of a country’s population having criminal records. Imagine the police force required to make sure that this is possible. Imagine half of that police force also awaiting their day in court. These issues and and many others might have been on the minds of law makers in Costa Rica for them to come up with such a decision.

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