If you read this blog, you know I follow closely the development of the pre-bill of Copyright Act which is currently being analyzed by the Civil House of the President of the Republic for possible remittance to Congress.
However, apparently, Congressman Nazareno Fonteles from the Labor Party of the state of Piauí (Northeastern region of Brazil) got tired of waiting and decided to present his own bill to change the Copyright Act (Bill no. 31331/12). In principle, this is a smart move because shorter bills have better chances of going faster before Congress. However, his bill is basically a “copy and paste” of everything that is wrong with the pre-bill of Copyright Act proposed by the Ministry of Culture. Worse yet, it is a “copy and paste” of prior versions of the pre-bill which were clearly designed to make copyright flexible to the users, yielding less protection to the content creators and owners.
The highlights of the bill are:
Private copying of the entire work is possible and the content being copied does not even have to be content legally put into circulation;
- Therapeutical and rehabilitation centers that provide services for free and prisons have the right to freely use protected works without need of payment or prior authorization;
- Use of protected works – without prior authorization and compensation – is also possible as a “creative recourse”;
- Compulsory licenses are everywhere;
- Rigid governmental control of collection societies;
Of course, there is no mention of the notice-and-takedown provisions created in the last publicly available draft of the bill by the Ministry of Culture. Though Congressman Fonteles may think this bill will move faster, it is so all-encompassing that it is not that much different from a full-blown change in the current Copyright Act.
For me, this is a strategy to make the Ministry of Culture’s bill move forward faster.
This should also serve as a wake-up call for the content creators and owners that it is past the time for them to submit a substitute bill, with strong deterrent and protective provisions.
I will keep you all posted.