Controversy over copyright reform in Brazil continues as two major newspapers publish opposing stories on a supposedly final version of the Ministry of Culture bill, leaked by a source within the federal government.
On November 26th, Rio de Janeiro’s O Globo printed a cautious but positive piece on the copyright reform bill, stressing that 85% of its previous version was kept in the final text. Contradicting most evaluations of Ana de Hollanda’s administration, O Globo’s story depicts Hollanda’s work on the bill as a harmonious continuation of the public consultation process supervised by former ministers Gilberto Gil and Juca Ferreira, instead of a rupture with the Ministry of Culture’s previous orientation.
Folha de São Paulo picked up the story a few days later, but provided a much less favorable view of the leaked text, focused on the 15% that Hollanda did alter. According to Folha, the changes in the text greatly benefit ECAD, the central collecting society that has a statutory monopoly on the collection and distribution of music-related royalties in Brazil.
Ana de Hollanda’s ties to ECAD were unveiled in a previous story by O Globo, and the minister has been openly vocal in criticising provisions of the reform bill that would reestablish state supervision of ECAD.
Greater checks on ECAD’s activites–currently the object of two parallel congressional investigations, as well as antitrust action by the Ministry of Justice–is one of the major points of contention in the reform bill. According to Folha de São Paulo, Ana de Hollanda’s version of the bill has kept much of it intact, but changed key provisions on collective management so that ECAD would remain under no form of external control.
There is still no confirmation if the leaked text is indeed the final one. As the day when the bill is finally submitted to Congress draws near, FGV’s Center for Technology and Society has published a book, directed at lawmakers, based on the two published versions of the bill, highlighting the most important changes and opportunities for more balanced copyright legislation. It can be dowloaded, in Portuguese, at http://bibliotecadigital.fgv.br/dspace/handle/10438/8789.