Abstract: Colombian copyright law does not expressly incorporate plagiarism as a crime. Nonetheless, Colombian courts have proclaimed plagiarism to be an act worthy of incarceration. Colombian copyright law protects moral rights of the author as human rights. In this regard, moral rights enjoy special protection that economic rights, for instance, do not have. Somewhat counter-intuitively, protecting moral rights as human rights, without set boundaries, may unbalance the copyright system and even violate other human rights, which is the case in Colombia.
Technology has become essential for education. Many countries around the world have started to incorporate technology in the educational environment, thereby changing the educational process in order to give 21st-century learners the new abilities they need. Moreover, for developing countries, the use of technology in education represents an opportunity to solve salient problems of their educational systems. Nonetheless, countries have left aside the fact that copyright law governs how that technology can be effectively used in education.
The Ecuadorian Commission on Justice and Structure of the State has initiated a plan to socialize potential reforms to the criminal code. This includes changing penalties for copyright and trademark piracy. This reform is intended to bring the country into compliance with its TRIPS requirements. It seeks to punish commercial scale piracy with fines to exceed fifty thousand dollars. Nonetheless, representatives of the entertainment industry have questioned the inability of the reform to punish every type of infringer.
For more information (in Spanish), see Asamblea inició socialización de reformas al Código Orgánico Integral Penal.
In Peru, there is an internal confrontation between ministries due to the data protection provisions of the TPP. The Ministry of Health opposes to the extension on data protection due to the effects than it can have on access over medicines for Peruvians, as many international organizations such as Medicos Sin Fronteras have claimed. Nonetheless, the Ministry of Commerce, in a document published puts this statement in doubt. The document contains 105 questions about TPP. Regarding access to medicine the document raises a question: will the TPP affect public health? Then the document states that the same concern was made during the Peru-U.S. FTA negotiation, but that to the moment those concerns have not been rejected or accepted by the Ministry of Commerce.
The current Colombian copyright law appears to be a traditional copyright framework that seeks to protect authors and provides an enforcement mechanism for those rights while at the same time providing limitations and exceptions in favor of public interests according to international standards. A closer view of the law, however, reveals that Colombian copyright law favors authors’ protections and undermines public interest uses, especially in the digital environment. This regulatory framework does not favor the incorporation of technology in education.
This month has been a busy one for Paraguay’s copyright law and Internet governance. The Paraguayan Congress decided to reject copyright legislation that sought to modify the current copyright law in articles 128,138, and 139. ( See ) The reform would have established an “arbitral commission” as part of the Intellectual Property Office (DINAPI) in charge of establishing the fee rate for using copyright. Moreover, the bill of law established that the fee should be paid in a state-dependent “one-stop” location.
The Colombian Parliament is debating Bill 001 of 2012. This Bill contains provisions regarding limitation and exceptions to Copyright Law. Last 16 of April the Bill passed the second debate in the House of Representatives. Now it is pending for debate in the Senate.
This Bill contains six articles regarding limitations and exceptions. Article 1 mandates an exception for temporary copies made as part of a technological process in some specific circumstances. Article 2 mandates an exception in favor of people with sight or hearing disabilities. Article 3 mandates an exception in favor of libraries and archives allowing them to lend a work. Article 4 mandates an exception in favor of parody. Article 5 mandates an exception in favor of educational institutions allowing the public performance of a work under certain circumstances. Finally, Article 6 repeals all provisions contrary to the ones mandated by this Bill.
The Colombian Constitutional Court has struck down the law 1520, generally known as “Ley Lleras 2.0”, which implemented part of the U.S FTA obligations in copyright law. This event happened last night, when the Constitutional Court was deciding about the lawsuit presented by Senator Robledo over articles 13 and 14 of such law. The Court after analyzing the law considered that the entire law was processed in the wrong Congress commission.
Panama’s Bill no. 510, reforming the countries law on copyright and neighboring rights, was approved today by the Congress in third debate. Under the Panamanian system, the law will now be sent back to the executive branch for final passage. The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Ricardo Quijano, expressed that “with the implementation of this new Act , our country [Panama] is being upgraded within the international and global context.” At the same time, Congressman Jose Blandon asked to make the Act public to avoid distrust within the population about this law, which gives new faculties to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MICI).
Diego Molano, minister of the Colombian ministry of technology of information and communication, talks about the FTA’s implementation Law. In an interview given to “ENTER.CO” ( e-newspaper about technology, internet and digital culture), the Minister states that this project has not been made in high-speed track, and it is just a technological updating of the Colombian copyright law and, it makes the Colombian Copyright law to stand at the same level of protection than the U.S. Copyright law.
The Colombian draft bill for the implementation of the Colombia-US Free Trade Agreement obligations is creating strong reaction from Colombian society. Not only copyrights scholars oppose to this draft; the group Anonymous Colombia has unplugged the official website of the Senate to show its rejection to this draft. The Senate website has been unplugged since March 27.
For more information, see Comunicado Anonymous Colombia Sobre (a video from Anonymous), and the news story: “La nueva Ley Lleras recarga el ciberespacio de protestas” by Perla Toro Castaño.