Brazil Drafts An 'Anti-ACTA': A Civil Rights-Based Framework For The Internet

from the who's-leader-of-the-*free*-world-now? dept

One of the striking features of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is that it is mainly being signed by Western/?developed? countries ? with a few token players from other parts of the world to provide a fig-leaf of nominal inclusiveness. That’s no accident: ACTA is the last-gasp attempt of the US and the EU to preserve their intellectual monopolies ? copyright and patents, particularly drug patents ? in a world where both are increasingly questioned.

Much of the challenge to the old order is coming from the BRICS group of emerging countries ? Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa ? none of which has been involved in ACTA. Of those, the one in the vanguard of adopting innovative approaches to making knowledge widely accessible in the Internet age is Brazil.

For example, the federal government has actively supported open source software by creating a Public Software Portal. The country has also been at the forefront of open content use: just this week, the city of São Paulo specified that all educational materials produced for it must be released under the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA license.

It’s true that there have also been some mixed signals recently, notably the re-surfacing of the punitive ?cybercrime bill?, which Techdirt reported on a couple of months ago. But here’s some positive news coming out of the country, in the shape of a draft of a bill for a civil rights-based framework for the Internet:

The draft bill proposition for a Civil Right?s Based Framework for Internet in Brazil has just reached Congress. The English translation of this version is available here.

It is the result of an initiative from the Brazilian Ministry of Justice, in partnership with the Center for Technology and Society of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (CTS/FGV), to develop a collaborative online/offline consultation process in which all the actors from Brazilian society could identify together the rights and responsibilities that should guide the use of the Internet in Brazil. The process, which resulted in a Bill of Law, is an example of the importance and the great potential of multistakeholder involvement on policy-making.

NGOs, universities, internet service providers (collectively though associations, as well as individually), business companies, law firms, law enforcement agencies, individuals, Brazilian Embassies from all over the world, and many other participants have joined the online public hearing. The participation of several stakeholder groups has promoted the diversity of opinions and the availability of high quality information and expert advise, which have helped the government to draft a balanced bill. The openness and transparency of the process, entirely conducted online, in the public eye, has improved the legitimacy of the bill. Marco Civil was introduced in Congress with the political weight and the legitimacy that the Bill would be expected to have after a complex multistakeholder discussion.

Among its fundamental principles:

I ? safeguarding freedom of speech, communication, and manifestation of thought, in the terms of the Constitution;

II ? the protection of privacy;

III ? the protection of personal data, in accordance to the law;

IV ? the preservation and safeguarding of net neutrality, in compliance with further regulation;

And this is real net neutrality, not the compromised US kind:

Article 9. The party responsible for the transmission, switching or routing of data has the obligation of granting equal treatment to every data package, with no distinction by content, origin and destination, service, terminal or application; any traffic discrimination or degradation that does not arise out of the technical requirements necessary to the adequate provision of services is prohibited, in accordance to further regulation.

It also comes out strongly in favor of guaranteeing access to the Internet, respect for personal privacy online, and against any kind of ?three strikes? laws cutting off users for alleged copyright infringement:

Article 7. Access to the Internet is essential for the exercise of citizenship, and the following rights are secured to its users:

I ? the non-violation and secrecy of communications on the Internet, except under judicial order, in the hypotheses and form established by law, for criminal investigations or the gathering of evidence for criminal procedures;

II ? the non suspension of Internet connections, except for debts directly related to their use;

It has plenty to say on the vexed issue of keeping users’ access logs, including:

Article 10. The storage and disclosure of the connection logs and Internet application access logs regulated by this law must preserve intimacy, private life, the reputation and image of the parties directly or indirectly involved.

§1 The Internet service provider responsible for the storage of logs will only be constrained to disclose the information that allows the identification of the user under a judicial order

Nor is ISP liability overlooked:

Article 14. Internet connection providers shall not be responsible for damage arising from content generated by third parties.

Article 15. Except otherwise established by law, Internet application providers can only be responsible for the damages caused by content generated by third parties if, after receiving a specific judicial order, they do not take action to, in the context of their services and under the established time frame, make unavailable the infringing content.

And the crucial issue of judicial requests for logs is also spelled out in detail:

Article 17. Interested parties may, for the purpose of gathering evidence in civil and criminal proceedings, of either accidental or autonomous nature, request a judge to order the party responsible for storing Internet service access logs, or connection logs, to disclose these logs.

Sole Paragraph. Without prejudice of other legal requirements, the application shall contain, under penalty of not being admissible:

I ? solid evidence of the occurrence of an illegal act;

II ? a motivated justification for the utility of accessing the requested logs, for the purposes of investigation or the gathering of evidence;

III – the period that the logs refer to.

Article 18. It is the obligation of judges to take the measures necessary to guarantee the secrecy of the information received, and the preservation of the intimacy, private life, honor and image of Internet users. Judges are capable, for that purpose, to constitute the information as secret, including with respect to requests for the storage of logs.

All-in-all, it’s a remarkable document, forming in effect an “anti-ACTA” that guarantees many of the protections for Internet users that ACTA seeks to eradicate, and forbids repressive measures that ACTA aims to introduce.

However, two big questions hang over the draft. First, whether it will be passed by the Brazilian Congress in its present form (or at all), and, second, how it can be squared with the harsh penalties proposed in the ?cybercrime? bill mentioned above if that too comes into force. But whatever happens, Brazil has already shown leadership by drafting a bill that dares to question and oppose the copyright maximalist orthodoxies underlying ACTA ? something signally lacking in other countries.

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Comments on “Brazil Drafts An 'Anti-ACTA': A Civil Rights-Based Framework For The Internet”

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59 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Oh? Brazil has spent the last number of years trying to turn itself into a socialist paradise. Past President Lula was pretty much a “man of the people” and spent his two terms forcing an incredible hardline socialist agenda, which is actually appropriate for a country that has a huge gap between rich and poor. His replacement has been called “Lula Lite” as she pretty much follows the same hard socialist leanings.

So, umm, exactly what part of socialism did I miss, huh?

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

you.

go find a very tall cliff

jump off it.

the shear ignorance and/or stupidity required to claim that ANY US politician that actually manages to attain a position of influence is ‘socialist’ is ridiculous.

they can only attain those positions by being actively pro-corporation, which is quite incompatible with socialism.

(unless you’re talking National Socialism, which is actually Facism taken to a stupid extream and with other bits tacked onto it. which is a different thing.)

seriously. anyone attempting to claim that anyone capable of actually getting into power in the US is left wing doesn’t have a damn clue what they’re talking about.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You should REALLY stop eating whatever it is FOX is feeding you. Brazil has come a long way. Sure, it ain’t paradise, but it isn’t Somalia either.

The truth is, Brazil has one of the world’s strongest economies, and it is growing. While everyone (just the US really) is playing games with virtual goods, they are actually boosting their economy.

See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil

Also, see this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luiz_In%C3%A1cio_Lula_da_Silva

And TRY to learn something. Also, provide some facts to support your wild allegations.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You missed it completely. You throw out the word “socialism” and “socialist”, but you never really define what you think it means. I could say you’re a purple monkey lover and it would be about as factual as what you just said.

From Wikipedia:

“Socialism is an economic system in which the means of production are either state owned or commonly owned and controlled cooperatively; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. As a form of social organization, socialism is based on co-operative social relations and self-management; relatively equal power-relations and the reduction or elimination of hierarchy in the management of economic and political affairs.”

In other words, the means of production belong to the people equally without an economic hierarchy of elites and commoners. What do you think it means?

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Wow, that’s so stupid I don’t know where to start! Real socialism would not abide by the existence of corporations as the means to production belong to the people, not private interests. The last thing the “corporate masters” want is socialism because they would be our the door. But you knew that already because you’re so smart. So then you must be intentionally dishonest. Why don’t you go read some academic literature on socioeconomic systems rather than just regurgitating whatever Glenn Beck tells you is the truth?

The eejit (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s filling a market niche, and making some profits. I argue that the AC is, technically, correct. TPB fills an unfilled niche, and profits. That’s capitalism at work.

Socialism, when it works, is a brilliant form of governance. However, people are idiots and they all must die, because they like rolling and shovelling that shit that keeps being made.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Socialism is the answer, at least for pirates.

Considering the fact that copyright is, by definition, legal restrictions on an open market, I find it incredibly ironic that you think those who don’t like it are “socialists.”

Perhaps that’s because you’re a fascist?

An inherent aspect of fascist economies was economic dirigisme, meaning an economy where the government exerts strong directive influence, and effectively controls production and allocation of resources. In general, apart from the nationalizations of some industries, fascist economies were based on private property and private initiative, but these were contingent upon service to the state.

Economics of Fascism (Wikipedia)

The granting of private property, contingent upon service to the state? Sounds like copyright to me.

…No, of course I don’t actually believe this. But it makes more sense than thinking those who oppose expansive copyright laws are “socialists.”

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Aka Freetardia my ass. Some of our cities have the highest costs of living in the entire planet.

In the middle of a lot of problems at least one thing seems to be moving into the right direction. The cybercrime bill isn’t going anywhere. It was merely resurrected because of the Brazilian arm (even though not related to the movement) of lulzsec attacking Governmental sites. It’ll be killed like it was a while back.

But it’s refreshing to see this draft circulating. Brazil is probably a rogue country in the eyes of many developed countries due to the fact that if they abuse their patents and whatsoever we just break their rights and make the stuff here, regardless of what they think. So yes, yet another big fat middle finger to the abuses.

Socialism is not inherently bad. Neither is capitalism. Brazil seems to be walking somewhere in the middle at the moment. And while I do think we have yet a lot of battles to win and problems to solve the situation now is not too bad. At least we aren’t a police State like the US where angry babies could be arrested for disturbing the peace.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Sad Daze

i think you missed the part where this was a comment on how bad the USA is, not how good China is.

that said, much as it is sad, it’s partially to be expected:

all empires rise and fall (though some manage to claw their way back up, after a fashion) and nations go through cycles of liberty and oppression. the cycles are usually measured in centuries, mind, though not always.

just shows Brazil on a major upswing and the USA on it’s way down.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Sad Daze

No I don’t think I missed anything. Calling a country that jails dissenters and regularly spreads propaganda and blocks websites that say anything negative about them a greater bastion of human rights is absolutely ridiculous. Last time I recalled music and videos weren’t human rights.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Dude, once you learn how to make money from/with free software and free data (scientifc articles, stock/forex tick and so on), you would never say this classic non-sense. By the way, the global infrastructure HAS to be destroyed first, then a new world order will rise. That had happend before (the end inquisition, the change from the gold standard into fiat), and every change had a trigger (renaissance and 1930 crises). Today’s freetards are the new vector of change. And folks like you, well, they will be history.

Now, for instance, look at Apple. Do you think it would have come back from the dead without BSD license? And about the people at Google, they are all freetards, right? I wonder if you really know the difference between GPLv3 and BSD licenses. Maybe then you can understand why Apple picked BSD instead of Linux.

What really makes me sad is that comments like this makes me think that Americans miss the cold war. Seriously, this is 2011 and this socialist rhetoric still around. The only thing this type of language actually tells me is that the CIA propaganda during the cold war was superb, that you are older then me and that you have to be American. Really. USSR imploded freaking 20 years ago and I only hear this type of inflated rhetoric in US. Any time I hear socialism in Europe/from European, they are talking about something in the past or the US obsession with socialism.

And about Brazil, well we love free stuff. There is a saying in brazil that goes… “De gra?a, at? inje??o na testa!”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuLDLL7Nyeo

Prisoner 201 says:

Re: Re:

This!

The better educated a nations population is, the better it will be able to compete on the global market.

Its like investing in seeds – sure it costs money initially, and they keep costing money as they grow, but if you dont buy any seeds, come winter, you will be hungry.

Then again, education takes time. And when the important thing is reelection or quarterly bonuses, that’s not really an option.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yeah, Brazil is quite contradictory. On one hand, you have free (as in speech) educational content, a bill which boosts freedom of speech itself and even the recognition of (quasi) gay marriage; on the other hand, the majority of the people is composed of, how can I put it… ultraconservatives which try to shut up any slightly politically incorrect/controverse speech and treat “unorthodox” opinions and behaviors as sheer abominations.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

politically correct, fake moralism, call what you want. The WORLD is becoming expert in this. I remember One Piece (Anime) being severely censored in the US to the point that Sanji doesn’t appear with cigarettes in his mouth looking like a bad ass but rather with a freaking GAY LOLLIPOP.

Fuck you US. Fuck you moralism.

But please, don’t blame Brazil for a global problem.

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