Jan 192012
 

The right of every citizen to seek, receive and share information is protected both in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). As regards Latin American countries specifically, the American Convention on Human Rights lays down rules on censorship in Article 13. Similarly, the Tunis Agenda also recognizes these rights within the Information Society.

However, despite the fact that freedom of expression depends on the free flow of information, there is a tendency for national and regional laws to intervene in the end-to-end architecture of the Internet, prevent the free flow of information and thus undermine the rights of every citizen to freedom of expression and privacy. This context shows how utterly important it is to watch abusive Internet legislation worldwide. This is the intent of the book “Towards an Internet Free of Censorship”, published by CELE (Center for Research on Free Speech and Access to Knowledge), in which researchers Joana Varon Ferraz, Carlos Affonso Pereira de Souza, Bruno Magrani and Walter Britto participate with the chapter entitled “Content Filtering in Latin America: Reasons and Impacts on Freedom of Expression”. Continue reading »

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Sep 272011
 

The draft bill proposition for a Civil Right’s Based Framework for Internet in Brazil has just reached Congress. The English translation of this version is available here.

It is the result of an initiative from the Brazilian Ministry of Justice, in partnership with the Center for Technology and Society of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (CTS/FGV), to develop a collaborative online/offline consultation process in which all the actors from Brazilian society could identify together the rights and responsibilities that should guide the use of the Internet in Brazil. The process, which resulted in a Bill of Law, is an example of the importance and the great potential of multistakeholder involvement on policy-making. Continue reading »

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Sep 202011
 

Translation by Walter Britto of the Brazilian news article “Dilma defende quebra de patentes de medicamentos em discurso na ONU,” by Luciana Xavier, O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper:

In her speech during the opening of United Nation’s (UN) Special Summit on Chronic Diseases, Brazilian president Dilma Roussef upheld patent-breaking for select drugs. The summit happened at the UN’s headquarters, in New York, last Monday the 19th. Once more, she has spoken favorably about breaking patents for those drugs necessary for treating non-communicable chronic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, and gratuitous access to medicaments for low-income populations to treat these diseases.

Full article | Full translation

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May 042011
 

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has just released it’s annual “Special 301 Report”. The report has been instrument for political pressure from USA regarding their ideal enforcement measures for protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). The Brazilian government does not legitimize either the report or the processes it tries to push forward, once it is done outside the official international fora for debating IPRs: WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) or WTO (World Trade Organization).

Unfortunately, some pressures have been effective, copyright industry representatives tend to use it’s arguments to entails unsuccessful piracy campaigns instead of rebuilding business models according to the possibilities brought by new technologies and thinking about solving market failures on the actual context. Continue reading »

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Jan 142011
 

Against the odds, the government of the recently-elected Brazilian President Dilma Roussef didn´t start well for the critics of the Brazilian copyright law and activists of the movement on access to knowledge, who highlights the need to enforce exceptions and limitations on intellectual property, mostly the ones that are already properly foreseen on international agreements.

The reasons for such an estimation are clear: the first draft bill sent to Congress by the Executive was concerned strengthening the enforcement against the so called  ‘Piracy Crimes’ and appeared right after the nomination of a Minister of Culture closed linked with the Central Collection and Distribution Office (ECAD) – the main opposition to copyright reform. This possibly represents a step backward for a reform process that has been underway for years. Continue reading »

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