By Abbie Schepps
While 50 plus years of economic sanctions hit Cuba hard in their factories, banking system, and hospitals, it seems to have missed the fans of American movies and television. The Washington Post reports that currently playing, for free, on Cuban television and in the movie theaters is American media content.
Cuban officials claim that since U.S. sanctions remain so restrictive, discussions regarding copyright protection would be a bit premature. While these protections are important, trade issues must be the primary focus for now. The idea is that once the U.S. eases its aggressive and punitive measures, Cuba will be more willing to discuss protections of property across the board. Of course, the government’s handling of the media content is just a drop in the bucket and nothing in comparison to street-level Cuban bootleggers.
Cuba is not against the protection of intellectual property. As a signatory to major international treaties protecting such property, Cuba has done a good job of enforcing these protections for many U.S. products. Unfortunately, media content is not one of these products. With free media content pervading the country, media piracy will most likely pervade long after efforts to correct the system begin.