Author: Allan Rocha de Souza

Which “Brazil” Will Chair The Marrakesh Treaty Assembly?

[Cross posted from IP-Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA] The supposedly impossible happened: The Marrakesh Treaty entered into force on 30 September, three months after reaching the necessary minimum of 20 ratifications. By then, 22 countries had done so – two more did so during the Marrakesh Assembly. It is the first Treaty to recognize beyond any shadow of doubt that the limitations are essential parts of the copyright system, necessary to its balance and even survival, and, as put by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, the Marrakesh Treaty “can now begin boosting the number of specially adapted texts for the benefit of blind and otherwise print-disabled people around the world.” The thankful words of David Hammerstein, speaking for the World Blind Union, echo the international civil society hopeful expectations of having the Treaty move forward and become really effective. Brazil is internationally recognized at WIPO as being one of the leading delegations in the promotion and approval of the Treaty, as witnessed at the 2013 Diplomatic Conference held in Marrakesh. Such recognition came formally as the new Minister of Culture of Brazil was named the chair of the Marrakesh Assembly. Before, Brazil also had played an important role in the approval of the development agenda, changing the WIPO path towards a more balanced and inclusive attitude. The Marrakesh Treaty is a pragmatic result of such efforts. It would be natural to...

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A Look At The Marrakesh Treaty Ratification In Brazil

Allan Rocha de Souza [1], Alexandre de Serpa Pinto Fairbanks [2], and Wemerton Monteiro de Souza [3] Intellectual Property Watch, Link (CC-BY-NC-SA) The Marrakesh Treaty, first of its kind, will enter into force three months after the deposit of the instruments of ratification or accession by 20 eligible countries. So far, thirteen have done so. Brazil, which was one of the main proponents and negotiators, deposited its ratification of the treaty on December 11, 2015, after the yearlong internal legislative process. The key question we are trying to face here is how the ratification of this treaty may impact Brazilian copyright legislation and the interpretation of the limitations. The main goal of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled is to establish set mandatory limitations to ensure access to printed material for the benefit of the visually impaired. The Brazilian Constitution establishes the ratification process of international instruments, and there is a key difference between human rights ones and others, both in respect to the proceeding and to its positioning within the legal system. The Constitutional Amendment n. 45, of 2004, adds a third paragraph to Article 5 and states that: “International human rights treaties and conventions which are approved in each House of the National Congress, in two rounds of voting, by three-fifths of the...

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Copyright and Access to Culture in the Digital Environment

[Cross posted from LAC Digital Rights, Link (CC-BY-SA)] The fifteenth century houses important both social and technological transformations, which mark the emergence of a new modern era, with remarkable ruptures with the previous period. The creation of Universities and their independence towards Church, in the late Middle Ages, had already resulted on literacy increase and, as a result, also on a book demand, which led to the expansion of scribes’ work field. The later invention of the printing, by Gutenberg, in 1436, and the paper, in 1440, allowed the reproduction of books in a scale infinitely superior in comparison with the known scale then. The ease of reproduction, the literacy of a larger number of people and a more intense and diverse literary production lead to a period of cultural hatching – the Renaissance – and, concomitantly, to a cultural industry, in which stood out printers and sellers books. This new economic opportunity, which enabled a commercial-scale reproduction and distribution of books, led to the emergence of the first invention privileges, granted, exclusively, to the Venetian Republic editors. The privileges granted by the Crown to the booksellers are the first specific legal setting for the protection of the rights of creation, thus protecting them from the competition of others, guaranteeing them a monopoly and ensuring the development and sustenance of local editors, with positive consequences for the Kingdom, grantor...

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Brazilian Copyright Act Amended: Focus on Collective Management Organization (CMO) Regulations

Almost six years after Brazil started publicly discussing its Copyright Bill, the first concrete changes start turning into law. On August 15, the sanctioned Amendment got published under number 12.853 and is available, in Portuguese, at http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_Ato2011-2014/2013/Lei/L12853.htm. It focuses on the regulation of Brazilian Music CMO (ECAD) – but affects all others CMOs – and implements some important changes such as the creation of a supervision, mediation and arbitration government body; strict transparency rules for CMOs; price setting criteria; liability rules for directors and managers; put a cap (15% in 4 years) on the administrative fee charged by CMOs; and limits the Directors’ terms. This may seem frivolous but is an important step towards regulation of the Copyright Industries, something they got rid of when TRIPS got implemented in Brazil. The reform is absolutely incomplete, as it hasn’t worked at all on the limitations, the contracts or the guiding principles of the Copyright Act. A more substantial amendment is waiting on the Civil Cabinet to be sent to Congress. It is expected to reach the legislative by September. We will see!! On the road to Brazil Unsurprisingly, on July 30th, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – CISAC – addressed the Brazilian President, Dilma Roussef, urging her to halt the Amendment Bill to Brazilian Copyright Act that regulates the Collective Management in the country. CISAC  basically...

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A New Ministry of Culture in Brazil

Just after entering the 21st month heading the Ministry of Culture in Brazil, Ana de Hollanda was dismissed on Tuesday, September 11. The new Minister, Marta Suplicy, a well known Labor Party politician from São Paulo, took office on the 13th (see the news on the ceremony). Ana de Hollanda has been on shaky grounds since she appointed. Her first words were to say she would review the Copyright Law Reform in order to “protect the author” from what she saw as an attack on their rights and its exercise. By that she meant the expansion of the limitations, the supervision of the Collective Management Organization and the institutionalization of the equivalent to a Copyright Office with consulting, mediation and possibly arbitration powers. She also declared open warfare towards open licenses, especially Creative Commons, which she took off the Ministry site within her first month in power – even though many other Ministries and even the Presidency use open licenses. With all that she brought about a strong wave of resistance from different sectors – including digital activists, academics, artists, politicians and even businesses. Although she had resisted since then, the Ministry itself was hurt with budget cuts and was not able move forward or build their policies – which was a good thing after all. The new Minister is much more experienced both in the political and administrative...

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