New Minister Of Culture In Brazil Brings Hope Of Return To Earlier Enlightened Copyright Policy

from the back-to-the-future dept

As Techdirt observed back in 2007, Brazilian artists were some of the first to recognize that piracy can be a positive force that helps get the word out about their creations. That was part of a larger openness to new ideas about copyright that was symbolized by the appointment of the well-known Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil as Minister of Culture, a post he held from 2003 until 2008. However, more recently, things have gone into reverse on the copyright front. Ana de Hollanda, the Minister of Culture appointed by the current President, ordered the CC license to be removed from the Ministry of Culture’s website, and there were indications that harsher copyright laws were coming.

Now, in something of a shock move, de Hollanda has been dismissed according to this report by

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. By that she meant the expansion of the limitations, the supervision of the Collective Management Organization and the institutionalization of the equivalent to a Copyright Office with consulting, mediation and possibly arbitration powers.

As the article points out, there are signs that de Hollanda’s successor, Marta Suplicy, may return to the more enlightened policies of Gil and the President who appointed him, known popularly as “Lula“. Moreover, Lula’s successor, President Dilma Rousseff, has also talked about widening access to culture in her country:

It is important to note that, when taking office in 2011, the President Dilma established 13 directives which were priorities for the Government. Among them, the 11th, there is an explicit statement on “democratization of access to cultural goods”. One of the most important ways of achieving such goal is strengthening the copyright limitations and exceptions by opening up the system.

It’s too early to tell whether the new Minister of Culture will make that happen, but the signs are looking better than they have for a while.

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Comments on “New Minister Of Culture In Brazil Brings Hope Of Return To Earlier Enlightened Copyright Policy”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Glyn, opinions are not facts

“One of the most important ways of achieving such goal is strengthening the copyright limitations and exceptions by opening up the system.”

The same thing could be accomplished by opening more libraries or approving more over the air TV channels. You are taking this guy’s opinion and trying to make it sound like fact. It’s not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

No, actually it’s the article he is quoting that is saying this, not specifically the President.

It should also be noted that this President has changed cabinet members (and ideas) fairly often. I wouldn’t count on this appointment meaning anything more than a shuffle for the sake of shuffling.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Actually she said that. I watched that live ;))

Also, it’s not for the sake of shuffling. It’s a political move because Marta Suplicy gave up trying to run for S?o Paulo Prefecture so Fernando Haddad could run for it. As a consolation prize she got the Culture Ministry.

I do expect her to be better than her predecessor though for my experience as a citizen of S?o Paulo during her mandate. She has a tendency to really do what’s best for the poorer (as she did during her mandate) and opening up copyright and allowing culture to spread is on par with that philosophy. Also, she has a son called Supla who is a singer himself and as far as I know he is the type of artist that couldn’t care less with copyright so this should influence her.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Umm did she say all of it, or just the first part?

I can’t find the full quote anywhere… I can see the president talking about “Among them, the 11th, there is an explicit statement on “democratization of access to cultural goods”. ” but I can’t find the direct quote of ” One of the most important ways of achieving such goal is strengthening the copyright limitations and exceptions by opening up the system.”

Care to share a link with the rest of us, because the story is lacking entirely in substance on that level.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

It’s actually a good question. I don’t know exactly how you translate what she said. The translation for copyrights is not literal too, a literal translation from the Portuguese words “direitos autorais” is “authoring rights”. I can try and fetch the Portuguese version but I’m fairly sure that this was the best translation the story could give.

The linked article is dead on on what’s happening here and the translations are as good as possible:

Also, that article links to Dilma’s Governmental Directives in which you have:

11. Valorizar a cultura nacional, dialogar com outras culturas, democratizar os bens culturais e favorecer a democratiza??o da comunica??o.

To value national culture, dialogue with other cultures, democratize*** the cultural goods and favor the democratization of communications.

*** This word is used pretty much in the same meaning as popularize (make it popular and widespread).

I’m wary to say it explicitly says they will strengthen copyright limitations and exceptions but to achieve what that directive says it’s the logical step and Lula had the same ideas and as we’ve seen under Gilberto Gil Ministry that’s pretty much what was done either officially or unofficially (there’s no case against file sharers and it’s very limited against sharing sites as far as I know). The aberration in this process is ECAD (the collection society) they pretty much run in the opposite direction. Generally speaking the article is right on spot, both TD and Infojustice ones.

Ninja (profile) says:

As an interesting note, Brazilian Government has set up a “Public Domain” website ( that makes available for free any Portuguese content that is in the public domain. It’s somewhat limited for now (not movies and other mainstream content available) but it’s one initiative that should be supported and praised. It is interesting that they say that it is very hard to assert that a determined work is in the public domain due to international copyright laws in their “collection policy”.

There are other open culture initiatives and sites maintained by the Govt but I use this one quite frequently.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I lol’d. The main issue Brazil is facing now (and it seems the US are on their way to face despite being an involution) is the income inequality. While we managed to bring our miserable and very poor up a notch (to the point they can now buy popular cars) so there’s a much narrower gap between them and the middle class the gap between the middle class and the uber rich (not counting the billionaire but the high society) is still insanely wide. I consider a country developed when the difference in the income of the lower slice of the population is not too big when compared to the higher slice.

We are walking very slowly in this sense because while the lower slice can now buy their cars the educational system is still very very deficient.

Scott Mohr says:


“Enlightened Copyright Policy” is another way of saying: “I wanna steal as much music as I can without paying for it.” You can call yourself a pirate or “enlightened” all you want. I am a musical artist, and when you take my work without paying for it you steal from me, making it much harder to make a living in music, and therefor much harder to make more music. Hope all you “pirates” are proud.

MrWilson says:

Re: Sure...

Ooh! A strawman argument generating exercise. Let me try:

“I am a musical artist” is another way of saying “I make fart noises that I force others to listen to and expect them to pay me for!”

See how that works? I just take anything that someone says and re-interpret it according to my bias and agenda and suddenly they’re the bad guys, even if that’s not actually what they said. Then I can pretend that anyone who makes reference to the statement I twisted is supportive of the twisted interpretation.

We’ll try it again, just for fun.

“Hope all your ‘pirates’ are proud” is another way of saying, “I’m a goat rapist.” Why would I buy your music if you’re just going to spend it on acquiring goats for your sick pleasures?

What? You’re not a goat rapist? But I just said you are and therefore it’s true because I said so! Anyone who buys your music supports goat rape! Moral panic! Think of the kids (i.e. baby goats)! Somebody pass a law!

Or maybe it would be nice to have a civilized conversation instead of just throwing around strawmen and vilifying people who disagree with you.

MrWilson says:

Re: Sure...

Also, if your name is Scott Mohr, obscurity, rather than copyright violation, appears to be a bigger problem. Doing a google search for “scott mohr” and “music” turns up results for a sound engineer for a 1989 album. If that’s you, you don’t seem to work much or to work much on projects that have your name on them. If that’s not you, you seem unknown enough that nobody could violate your copyrights if they wanted to because your music just isn’t out there.

Do you actually know how much money you’re supposedly losing due to copyright violations (based on the flawed assumption of a one-to-one lost sale ratio) or are you fighting with strawmen over a hypothetical loss you’re not actually experiencing?

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