Overview of Panamanian Reactions to Passage of Copyright Legislation (Bill no. 510)

On September 26, the plenary of the National Assembly approved on third debate the Bill No. 510 on Copyright and Related Rights. During the debate, Rep. Jose Blandon claimed that the text was not sufficiently disclosed or accessed. Despite the questions that the Bill in the Assembly, in the second debate the document received almost unanimous support from all benches. Only Leandro Avila PRD abstained. The president of the Panamanian Society of Authors and Composers (SPAC), Cristian Garcia, said the law “has good things”, and some that need improvement. He expressed concern about “the power acquired by the Directorate of Copyrights” on the matter. Amable Marin Moreno, artistic manager, said the national musicians “are broken”, because there is no protection of their rights. He added that the law “is welcome” as long as it fully complies. Last Thursday, local artists expressed its rejection of new prerogatives of the Ministry of Commerce on the subject. Sectors linked to music, audiovisual production and civil society questioned the lack of consultation and it was soon adopted the law and demand that is vetoed by President Ricardo Martinelli. Law 510 gives the power to dispense sentences and fines ranging from $ 1,000 to $100,000 at the sole discretion of the DGDA agents. The DGDA has the power to track the movements of individuals who surf the Internet with the pretext of fighting piracy....

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