Sens. Jorge Enrique and Camilo Robeldo have filed two lawsuits against Law 201, the copyright legislation introduced and passed over a three week period last Spring. Law 201 (known popularly as Ley Lleras 2) changes copyright law in Colombia in order to meet the requirements of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. The lawsuits allege that the law unjustifiably restricts the rights of Internet users to access and disclose the information, and that it violates the Constitution’s right to privacy.
Colombian civil society groups have been highly critical of the law and the way in which it was fast-tracked through the legislature, without room for debate. When the bill was introduced, Carolina Botero (Creative Commons, Colombia) warned that it would “continue to increase rightholders rights while ignoring necessary equilibriums, denying us the opportunity to discuss them more broadly. It goes beyond what the FTA requires. It will be a problem if it is passed without civil society.”
Over 60 international legal scholars wrote the legislature last April to warn that “unbalanced legal reform may reduce public access to important information and, by stifling legitimate innovation, put Colombia and its people at a cultural and competitive disadvantage… Colombia’s legislators do not appear to be using this opportunity to recalibrate the balance between rights holders and other citizens by introducing flexible limitations and exceptions into national law, along with stronger safeguards for ownership.”
News on the lawsuit:
- Two suits challenge copyright law under US-Colombia FTA
- Corte Constitucional aceptó demanda contra ley que implementó TLC.
Background information on Ley Lleras 2:
- Blog by Carolina Botero
- Letter from legal academics to Colombian legislature
- Ley 201 o llamada también “Ley Lleras 2″: trending topic en Colombia.