Copyright law in Bolivia

Bolivia must have negotiated the best intellectual property treaties of any country in the world (only Iran comes close, but that country is not a party to the Berne Convention). Respect to the hot-shot lawyers who did that!

In Bolivia, you can get any movie on DVD on the same day it is released in cinemas worldwide. Sometimes even before the release date!

The distribution occurs in a decentralized manner, through self-employed vendors who carry boxes of DVDs to street corners or who sell the films out of the trunk of their car. Amazing how Bolivia could negotiate the right for its small businesses to take over the distribution, when the big Hollywood studies usually want to control everything.


Each DVD costs around one dollar per film. Compare that with movie tickets or the prices on Amazon, and it’s another miraculous deal negotiated by Bolivia.

On top of that, the service is impeccable. There is something called DVD-on-demand: if your local vendor doesn’t have the film you want, you write the title on a piece of paper, hand it to him and tomorrow – same place, same time – he has the desired movie for you. This shows that even the mom-and-pop outlets have excellent connections to all distributors worldwide.

(Hier könnt Ihr diesen Artikel auf Deutsch lesen.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Bolivia, Cinema, Economics, Law, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Copyright law in Bolivia

  1. balabhaskar6 says:

    Reblogged this on balabhaska and commented:
    Get your own copies

  2. HARRY STEWART says:

    Did you know they actually enforce copyright on Bolivian films? So if you want to buy a pirated DVD of a locally made film you need to whisper to the guy when no one is around and he’ll show you his private stash.

    • Oh, I did not know that!
      Well, at least copyright law is partially enforced, although this may just lead to more people watching international films.

  3. Pingback: Thoughts of the Day 7 | The Happy Hermit

  4. Bolivia also has a very able partner in Peru, a fair amount of pirated DVDs sold in El Alto and La Paz in particular are produced in Peru and contrabanded into Bolivia, and some undoubtably go the other way as well. The official first showings of Mel Gibson’s “Passion of Christ” got moved forward by a week or 2 in Lima because of the huge amount of pirated copies that were on sale weeks beforehand…..!

    • That’s true, I saw the same offers in Peru.

      Very interesting and telling information about the release date of “Passion of Christ”, thank you!

  5. Pingback: Urheberrecht in Bolivien | Der reisende Reporter

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