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Mexico’s Impressive IP Leadership

mexicoIn the global race to curb intellectual property theft and capture the myriad economic benefits that come from boosting legal software sales, Mexico is setting an impressive pace by leveraging a noteworthy combination of resources from government agencies and private industry.

The country’s lead copyright authority, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (known by its Spanish acronym, IMPI), has taken a forceful leadership role in driving software legalization. It began by getting its own house in order — conducting a self-audit and publically disclosing the results — and now it is reaching out directly to corporate end-users, educating them about licensing requirements, the benefits of using legal software, and, critically, the security and related risks that companies face when they run software that is not fully licensed and updated. IMPI also is deploying its enforcement capabilities — raiding non-compliant companies, imposing fines on them, and referring them to tax authorities for further review.

Private industry has taken notice of all this and is doing its part. Earlier this week, for example, the Mexican Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) sent approximately 50,000 letters to accountants and auditors explaining that software is an intangible asset that must be accounted for properly. BSA will work with MICPA to ensure that its members are equipped to audit their clients for software license compliance.

BSA also is assisting several large corporations in their own audit efforts, helping them create network environments that are secure, efficient, and fully legal. This is part of a broader public-awareness campaign asking IT officers and decision-makers responsible for software assets in Mexican companies, “What’s on your system?” As these efforts conclude, we will work with our partners to publicize the results and demonstrate further that the benefits of software legalization are real and easily attainable.

Jodie Kelley

Author:

Jodie L. Kelley leads BSA’s domestic and international compliance & enforcement programs including its copyright-enforcement activities, its compliance policy work, its efforts against Internet crime, and its educational programs to promote software license compliance and respect for intellectual property. Kelley serves as BSA’s general counsel for all corporate matters and manages BSAs’ compliance & enforcement programs and counsel in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. Representing the largest copyright-based industry, BSA operates in more than 60 countries worldwide.

Prior to joining BSA, Kelley served for six years as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Fannie Mae, a government-sponsored enterprise chartered by Congress to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the US housing and mortgage markets. There, she was responsible for managing the company’s litigation portfolio and its responses to various governmental inquiries. She also was responsible for advising the company on issues including antitrust and anti-fraud. Previously, she was a partner at Jenner & Block in Washington, where she specialized in civil and regulatory litigation and handled cases before trial and appellate courts and regulatory agencies throughout the country.

Kelley is a native of New Orleans, and a member of the Board of Directors of Commonwealth Academy. She earned her JD from Harvard Law School and BSS from The Pennsylvania State University.

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