Blockbuster shuts Peru stores

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

Reuters news service is reporting the last store under the brand name of Blockbuster closed its doors in Peru a few days ago. While the spokesman didn't offer a particular reason other than competition problems, it is speculated the U.S. movie retail giant couldn't compete with the low-cost of pirated DVDs.

It's a familiar problem in Peru, where the U.S.-based International Intellectual Property Alliance estimates half of all films sold in the country are pirate copies available to consumers at a fraction of the price.

It's even worse for music, where the IIPA claimed in a 2006 report 98 per cent of all music and records purchased were pirated copies. Pirated version also made up 73 per cent of all business software purchases, the report said.

The grim numbers are not simply limited to entertainment and technology in the poor South American nation, however. According to the BBC, half the economy in Peru is made up of unregulated businesses that do not pay taxes.