Claudio Botero[Translation of RedPaTodos press release]  On May 17th, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Fernando Carrillo, and the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Sergio Diaz-granados, presented Bill 306 of 2013 to the House of Representatives,  The Bill aims to implement some of the commitments of the  Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States on copyright. The initiative takes up almost identically the text of the 1520 Act that was declared unconstitutional by the Colombian Constitutional Court in January.

Days after, the collective ‘RedPaTodos‘ met with some of Diaz-Granados’ staff at the Ministry to express their concerns regarding the draft and, above all, to reiterate the need for the project to  be discussed with civil society.  We proposed to stay away from what happened to the previous law, which passed in a hurry in 2012 in order to be completed before the visit of President Barack Obama. Additionally, ‘RedPaTodos’ presented a petition right where he reiterated these points.

“We reiterate the Government’s commitment to build laws that meet the specific needs of the country, within the framework and respect of our international commitments, in an inclusive process willing to consider the comments and proposals of civil society” said the communication from the Ministry of Commerce signed on June 4th. The Minister also announced workshops to analyze the proposals of civil society, which will be presented by organizations like the Karisma Foundation and the Foundation for Free Press, under the umbrella of ‘RedPaTodos’.

The collective ‘RedPaTodos’ enthusiastically recorded this government’s commitment and expects that it will mark a change in how they are promoting in Congress the  implementation rules on Copyright derived from the FTA. As ‘RedPaTodos’ has reiterated on many occasions, FTA compliance does not mean that these rules are not to be discussed and enriched with the participation of civil society and Congress.

‘RedPaTodos’ is a collective of Colombian organizations and individuals from civil society that promotes inclusive use of Internet and calls for a balance between copyright, fundamental rights and civil liberties for all Colombians,