Robin’s Cyberlaw Remix

Blogging Cyberspace and Intellectual Property Legal Issues by Robin Gross

Let the Music Play in Brazil 17 October 2006

From IP Justice

News of an online petition to give Brazilian music lovers the right to copy their CDs onto their MP3 players sounds like an appropriate topic for kicking off this blog on cyberspace and intellectual property legal issues. Friends at the Brazilian law school Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) have begun a campaign to raise awareness of a new wave of law suits against Peer-2-Peer (P2P) file-sharers in Brazil. Also part of the campaign is the launching of an online petition to the Brazilian Congress requesting that Brazilians be restored the right to make personal use copies of their music.

FGV’s Center for Technology and Society based in Rio de Janeiro, Derechos Digitales (Chile), CPSR-Peru, IP Justice, and others issued a statement today requesting that the Brazilian copyright law be amended so Brazilians may make personal use copies of their music CDs.

According to the law professors at FGV, Brazilians in the past were allowed to make personal use copies, but after lobbying from large record companies, the law was changed in 1998 and Brazilians were stripped of their right to make copies of their CDs. This means it is illegal for Brazilians to copy their own music CDs onto their own iPods (or other MP3 players) for their own personal use.

Most countries permit personal use copies of music, but South American countries in general do not. People in the United States enjoy fair use privileges that allows them to time-shift — or in this case “space-shift” or “format-shift” their music collections onto their computers or iPods for their own personal use. The United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and other countries have a similar concept called “fair dealing” that also permits copying for personal use. And many European countries permit personal use copies through statutory exemptions.

How sad it is, that in a country with such a rich musical tradition as Brazil, that Brazilians do not have the right to make personal use copies of the music they own.

So please consider signing the petition to show your support for amending Brazilian copyright law.
The English, Spanish, and Portuguese versions of the petition are available for signature here. Let the music play in Brazil.

The International Federation of Phonografic Industry (IFPI) held a press conference today at the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro to announce a new wave of lawsuits against Brazilian music lovers for Peer-2-Peer (P2P) file-sharing. Law professors from FGV’s Center for Technology and Society report that they were barred from entering the press conference, even though they possessed valid credentials.

IFPI’s press conference today in Brazil is part of its global crack-down on P2P file-sharing, which includes lawsuits against children and parents (and grand-parents) of P2P file-sharers. According to this report in the BBC, IFPI will begin to launch legal attacks against 8,000 file-sharers in 17 countries, including – for the first time – in Brazil, Mexico, and Poland.

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