Tim Berners-Lee’s visit to Brazil last week has rekindled hopes for a civil society frustrated by six postponed votes on the bill known as “Marco Civil.” This groundbreaking federal legislation would guarantee civil rights in the use of the Internet, and is sometimes called a “Constitution for the Internet.” For the bill’s rapporteur, Representative Molon, having the inventor of the World Wide Web visit and publicly support the Marco Civil is an essential step in breaking the legislative logjam.
[Reposted from Recursos Educacionais Abertos. Authored by Carolina Rossini, Priscila Gonsales and Debora Sebriam. Translated by Carolina Rossini (CC-BY)]
We are sorry communicate that the São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) vetoed in its entirety the PL 989/2011, because of a perceived conflict of powers between the Executive and the Legislative branches in the State of São Paulo. PL 989/2011 – which was approved by all committees of the São Paulo Legislative Chamber (ALESP) back in December 2012, aimed to establish the public policy for open educational resources in the richest state of Brazil. This Bill was among a remarkable 90% of all bills that were approved by the Legislature in Sao Paulo state, but rejected by the governor. The bill will now return to the Legislative Chamber where the veto might be overturned – but that is an improbable event.
On December 20, the state of São Paulo approved PL 989/2011, which establishes a policy of Open Educational Resources. Article one holds that educational resources developed by the government “should be made available in these institutions or [on the government's] electronic sites… and licensed for free use, comprising copying, distribution, downloading and redistribution,” on the conditions attriution and noncommercial use. Resources covered by the law include “textbooks, instructional materials, multimedia content, educational games, scientific articles, research, theses, dissertations and other academic pieces.”
[By Carolina Rossini, reposted from EFF's Deeplinks blog]
Internet service providers (ISPs) are the conduits of free expression on the Internet. However, many international and national law and policy proposals, including trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement(TPP) and others, attempt to make Internet intermediaries the sole arbiter and enforcer of the law instead of courts and judges. ISPs should not be Internet cops. Not only are they not equipped to make such decisions, proposals to make them liable for Internet content end up promoting law enforcement methods that purposefully skirt due process rights.
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.
The WIPO translation was used for the current law (column 1). Except in a couple of passages, the text of the WIPO translation was transposed to that of the new proposals every time the draft language followed the current legislation. The translations for the four versions of the copyright reform draft bill here presented (columns 2-4) are only meant to roughly convey the substance of the proposals. While great care has been taken, the translations might is some cases be inadequate or insufficient. Please check the translations against the original text of each proposal, provided below in a separate table.
In testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet on 27 June 2012 (Hearing: Protecting Patents, Trade Secrets, and Market Access), the Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, who also serves as Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, grossly misrepresented the scope of permissible compulsory licensing under the WTO TRIPS Agreement.
In her misleading testimony, Teresa Stanek Rea said: “We are consistent on our efforts … of trying to stop these compulsory licenses.” Rea said she was particularly disappointed in March, when India’s Patents Office ordered Bayer AG to grant an Indian generics maker (Natco) a compulsory license for the cancer drug Nexavar, ruling that it was too expensive for most people to afford. (Note: the generic was 3% the cost of overpriced Bayer product and reached only a tiny fraction of eligible cancer patients in India.)
Last week, Carolina Rossini announced a new Open Educational Resources project website: “we aim to provide vast information on OER for Portuguese speakers. We have developed a large FAQ, pointed to reference documents, media, etc. We have also listed projects from Brazil and the world (let us know if you suggest other projects that we can include in the near future), pointing to their license scheme. We have also pointed to the current bills that aim to promote OER in Brazil if approved, and hope to engage society in the discussions and improvement of such policies. Soon we will have the main navigation links also in English.” Click here to visit http://rea.net.br/
Below is the Statement of the Grupo de Trabalho Sobre, Propriedade Intelectual on the Brazlian government’s decision to annul Abbott Laboratories’ patent on lopinavir+ritonavir, an important antiretroviral medicine for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. The statement was originally released on the 14th of March.
Through an article published by the newspaper Folha de São Paulo on March 9, 2012, the decision issued by Judge Daniela Pereira Madeira from the Federal Court of Rio de Janeiro became widely known. On February 23rd, the Judge granted the request made by the company Cristália, a Brazilian laboratory that produces generics, which demanded the annulment of patent PP1100397-99, held by Abbott Laboratories. Granted through the pipeline mechanism, the patent prevents the local production or importation of generic versions of the drug ritonavir and lopinavir (lop/r) (brand name Kaletra®), used to treat HIV infection. Thus, the Brazilian government can only buy the medicine from Abbott, despite the existence of generic versions sold in the international market at much lower prices. The price paid by Brazil is US$763 per patient/year, but there are generic versions of approved quality by the World Health Organization (WHO) sold for US$402 per patient/year, a price 47% lower.
While the Ministry of Culture’s much-talked about, controversial copyright reform bill has yet to reach the Brazilian National Congress, a deputy from the Partido dos Trabalhadores, Nazareno Fonteles, has jumped the gun with his own take on the subject.
Bill 3133/2012, introduced February 7th in the Chamber of Deputies, is not exactly a new proposal. It is heavily inspired by the first draft of the Ministry of Culture’s text–a very forward-looking, progressive bill, when compared to both the current legislation and the more recent versions of the Ministry of Culture’s proposal.
The Brazilian Instituto nacional da Propriedade Industrial announced it will fast track its decision on whether or not to grant patents on the heat-stablized versions of lopinavir+ritonavir (brand names: Kaletra, Aluvia) and ritonavir (Norvir). Both drugs are important antiretroviral drugs recommended by the World Health Organization for HIV/AIDS treatment in resource-poor settings. If the follow on patents are granted, they will not expire until 2024.
Controversy over copyright reform in Brazil continues as two major newspapers publish opposing stories on a supposedly final version of the Ministry of Culture bill, leaked by a source within the federal government.
On November 26th, Rio de Janeiro’s O Globo printed a cautious but positive piece on the copyright reform bill, stressing that 85% of its previous version was kept in the final text. Contradicting most evaluations of Ana de Hollanda’s administration, O Globo’s story depicts Hollanda’s work on the bill as a harmonious continuation of the public consultation process supervised by former ministers Gilberto Gil and Juca Ferreira, instead of a rupture with the Ministry of Culture’s previous orientation.
Folha de São Paulo picked up the story a few days later, but provided a much less favorable view of the leaked text, focused on the 15% that Hollanda did alter. According to Folha, the changes in the text greatly benefit ECAD, the central collecting society that has a statutory monopoly on the collection and distribution of music-related royalties in Brazil.