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Piracy Fuels Brazil's Tecno Scene

This steamy city at the mouth of the Amazon river is a haven for pirates — the digital kind who copy CDs and DVDs by the thousands for illegal sidewalk sales. Belem is also home to one of Brazil's most thriving pop scenes: tecnobrega, a musical movement that's expanding exponentially thanks to musicians and producers who see copying as a marketing tool rather than intellectual property theft.

"It's this really gritty tacky, sleazy jungle music. It's just genius," said John Perry Barlow, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which advocates protecting free speech in the digital age... "It's making it possible for every kid in Brazil to know their songs by the time they turn five," Barlow said. "It's actually good for a lot of money — you give it away and it will come back. That's literally true with information, not with property."

Friday, October 19, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
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