Oct 032012

[originally posted on the Access blog by Perter Micek under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-NY)]  The Panamanian Congress recently passed a dangerous copyright bill, and it is one step away from becoming law. That’s why civil society organizations from around the world have rallied to urge President Ricardo Martinelli to reject the legislation, send it back to Congress, and allow experts and civil society members to be involved in the process. The bill has caused a huge uproar around the world, including one report calling it “the worst copyright bill in history.”

Below is the letter addressed to President Martinelli, which we will be delivering soon. If you want to add your name or your organization to the letter, find more information at the end of the letter. Continue reading »

Oct 012012

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. Continue reading »


Copyright in Latin America: New Enforcement Measures Pose Major Threats to Internet Users in Panama and Colombia

 Posted by on September 28, 2012  Comments Off on Copyright in Latin America: New Enforcement Measures Pose Major Threats to Internet Users in Panama and Colombia
Sep 282012

Co-authored by Carolina Rossini and Carolina Botero. Reposted from the EFF Deeplinks Blog.

After years of being one of the most progressive regions in the world in terms of balanced copyright policy, Latin America is unfortunately sliding into copyright maximalism, enacting increasingly restrictive copyright enforcement measures into their federal laws.

While Chile spent years drafting their broad reform to the copyright system along with civil society groups, and Brazil excitedly discussed the reform of copyright law with unprecedented civil society participation to draft a balanced bill, Colombia and Panama have rushed to write and approve new copyright frameworks with drastic consequences for the digital generation. Why is this occurring? It is the result of top-down, harsh implementation of bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with the US, that require nations to enact far more restrictive language than what is found in the US itself.

This is precisely the kind of forum shifting and policy laundering we often blame on the US. But in these cases, Latin American governments should also be held accountable for their own choices. Continue reading »

Sep 262012

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). Continue reading »

Sep 222012

Photo by James Grimmelmann (CC-By-2.0)

[Reposted from the author’s blog technollama]

In a Rogue’s Gallery of copyright legislation, many efforts deserve mention. The DMCA is surely there, together with Japan’s new copyright law, the Digital Economy Act, and Ley Sinde. But a new Panamanian copyright bill is giving those laws a run for their money.

The excellent project at Infojustice.org have directed our attention to a new bill that has been sent to the Panamanian legislature by the executive branch. This is Proyecto 510-2012 (henceforth 510 Bill) for a new copyright and related rights law. At first glance, this looks like your average piece of copyright legislation: rights, exceptions, limitations, terms of protection, provisions on digital rights, etc. What makes the new law completely different to others I have seen is in the enforcement section. Continue reading »


Executive Branch Seeks Quick Passage of Copyright Legislation in Panama

 Posted by on September 10, 2012  Comments Off on Executive Branch Seeks Quick Passage of Copyright Legislation in Panama
Sep 102012

Copyright legislation has been introduced in Panama in order to bring the country into compliance with the terms of its trade agreement with the United States.  Bill no. 510 “On Author’s Rights and Neighboring Rights” (Sobre Derechos e Autor y Derchos Conexos) was introduced to the Congress on August 23. The executive has asked for it to be ratified by October.   The legislation lengthens the term of copyright protection from 50 to 70 years after the life of the author. It seems to expand the definition of “reproduction” to include temporary copies. It amends the criminal penalties section of the existing law.

Full Text of the Legislation: Bill no 510

Draft overview, by Lina Diaz (work in progress)