Author: Miguel Morachimo

A Discussion That Could Finally Change Copyright in Peru

[Cross posted from Digital Rights LAC, Link (CC-BY-SA)] In the last chapter of a long debate, the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property suspended the board of the Peruvian Association of Authors and Composers for one year. But what hides within this long discussion in a country like Peru, which is advancing firmly in its economic and cultural development? A radical change, perhaps. During October 2013, an investigative report managed to inform the public on how copyright is designed and enforced in Peru. Its revelations have prompted congressional hearings, a state decision to suspend the directors of a collecting society, the first designation, after ten years, of a new director for the Office of Copyright and up to thirteen bills that aim to modify the most controversial parts of the law. Does this represent a real change for copyright in Peru or is it just a temporary phenomenon? Although the report by Marco Sifuentes and Jonathan Castro on the questionable operations of the Peruvian Association of Authors and Composers (APDAYC) was not the first to talk about the issue, it has been the main one that has attracted the most attention in recent years. The facts that were questioned covered at one end, the various conflicts of interest that linked APDAYC managers with radios, record companies, producers and a small group of artists....

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Lessons from Peru: A Tough Start to Regulating ISP Liability

[Originally posted on accessnow.org] Last month, the Peruvian Government made public its intention to hold Internet Service Providers (ISPs) responsible for copyright infringement by their users. Peru committed to doing so — imposing intermediary liability — in a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. in 2006. However, many have criticized the legislative process thus far as lacking transparency. The outcome of this process will affect Peru’s position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a trade agreement being negotiated among Pacific Rim governments. It also displays the worst practices in multi-stakeholder decision-making, a key component of internet governance. The first meeting, a consultation on the proposed copyright law, was announced through an independent website (currently offline) published by a private consultant, attorney Erick Iriarte. Hired by the Ministry of Foreign Commerce and Tourism, the authority in charge of negotiating and implementing Free Trade Agreements, Iriarte is an activist and practicing lawyer with experience on domain name issues, and is frequently consulted for anything related to the internet. The site described the initiative as a public consultation on the subject, sponsored by the Ministry and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and inviting all stakeholders to comment. Soon, however, a major Peruvian newspaper compared the initiative to the controversial SOPA bill rejected earlier this year in the U.S. Users here slammed by the bill, seeing their rights and freedoms under threat....

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Peruvians Balance the Public Debate on Internet User Rights

[Reposted from AccessNow.org] Last June, my government proposed a law that could have imprisoned the average internet user for no fault of their own. The Cybercrime Bill would have overturned our Constitutional right to communications secrecy and given police easy access to our data. With Access, we created a coalition of voices pushing for a revised law that protected user rights to privacy and freedom of expression. That fight is not over: the Cybercrime Bill is dormant but not dead. However, until civil society gains a stronger voice over internet policy, and Peruvian politicians recognize us as meaningful stakeholders, we only expect more of the same problematic laws. Like many countries in Latin America and beyond, Peru is a state whose political representatives lack familiarity with internet issues and technology. Our national policies are still generic guidelines that stifle innovative solutions and smart laws. Unlike on other public issues, such as political violence or discrimination, there are few voices that contribute to public debate on internet policy in Peru from the perspective of civil society. As a result of this gap, user interests are not represented when Congress proposes bills affecting our rights. This creates a predictable imbalance in the legislative process. Often, the only external views come from the companies and investors able to hire lawyers in their favor. Many opinions and valuable ideas from civil society are...

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