Brazil's Marco Civil Not Dead Yet; Yahoo Voices Support

from the not-google-this-time dept

Techdirt has been following the story of Brazil’s innovative Marco Civil project, a civil-rights based framework for the Internet, for a while. Last time we wrote about it, it had been shelved following some aggressive work by lobbyists. As we noted then, it wasn’t clear whether it would be resuscitated or not, but here’s Kuek Yu-Chuang, Yahoo!’s Regional Public Policy Director, who seems to think it still stands a chance of being approved:

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Brasilia with colleagues from Yahoo! representing our public policy, privacy, copyright, and communications teams. While in the Brazilian capital, we engaged with key officials to voice Yahoo!’s support for the Marco Civil da Internet (known as the Marco Civil), which some have described as Brazil’s “Constitution of the Internet.” The Marco Civil establishes the promotion of access to the internet as a right for all Brazilians. The draft bill also aims to provide safe harbors for Internet service providers, and allow free speech on the Internet.

In an impressive effort to incorporate the ideas of Brazilian citizens, the drafters of the Marco Civil made the initial version of the bill open to the public for comments in late 2009. More than 1100 contributions were received from around the country. The Marco Civil is now with the House of Deputies in the Brazilian Congress and a vote is expected in coming months.

That’s unexpectedly good news; it’s also great that Yahoo! is publicly supporting the Marco Civil in this way, since that may help to counterbalance renewed lobbying from other quarters when the vote in the Brazilian Congress takes place.

The fact that on this occasion it’s not Google trying to bolster moves to make the laws governing the Internet more balanced is important. That means the law’s opponents won’t be able to paint the Marco Civil bill as something largely for the benefit of Google, as has happened elsewhere. Let’s hope that Yahoo! continues speaking out on the issues of net neutrality, privacy and maybe copyright modernization: that would be good for burnishing the company’s image, and good for Internet users.

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Comments on “Brazil's Marco Civil Not Dead Yet; Yahoo Voices Support”

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Anonymous Coward says:

This is good news on the political front down under there.

But make no mistake about it, this is a fight in multiple fronts.

So folks, don’t let your own security on the hands of others, take matters into your own hands and encrypt everything.

You registered to facebook fine encrypt your name, birth date, every bit of information you have, and start communicating with others through secure channels, programs like:

TOR Bundle
Calypso : anonymous P2P
Blink (SIP client)
Twinkle (software)

Can go a long way no matter what the government tries.

Anonymous Coward says:

Down memory lane.

The clipper chip was an attempt by the US government to make all phones in the US open to the government.

Nautilus and the PGPPhone where created to counter that threat and the plan never did go ahead.

This is the power of DIY, people who do it will always be free, the people who let others do it for them will all become slaves in the literal sense of the word.

horse with no name says:

Google and Yahoo Same Story

Google and Yahoo are the same story, they want to be able to handle and distribute other people’s works without risk. It’s surprising not to see Google getting big in this one as well.

Seeing that the tide is going the other way on IP, it’s doubtful Brazil will want to stand out and become a piracy haven.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Google and Yahoo Same Story

Seeing that the tide is going the other way on IP, it’s doubtful Brazil will want to stand out and become a piracy haven.

Brazil is a piracy heaven (in the physical sense of the word). And no effort from the police stopped it. The local MAFIAA tried to reduce the pricing of the albums (which boosted sales greatly for a good while) but their lack of will to offer reasonable prices online gave pirates more ammo to sell mp3 disks on the streets.

As for file sharing it’s completely legal. And so far the entertainment industry is doing wonders DESPITE the abusive prices (which for me is a wonder in itself). And if the Govt decides to crack down on piracy people will simply go without. That happened recently when the prices of food shot up. People started going without and sales dropped 2,1% in a single month forcing the prices back down =)

Ninja (profile) says:

Technically lobbying is prohibited in Brazil unless there’s no money involved. Take note of that.

In any case I honestly thought it dead but if there are efforts to keep it alive then I’m all for it. If Yahoo is doing it honestly (and I only have reasons to believe the other side is using tons of money illegally) then it’s bound to have much less effect than it would otherwise. While it’s indeed good that Big G isn’t the one pushing I’d like to see their weight in this effort. Along with others with Brazilian presence (I’m not sure but maybe the Br Wikipedia branch could weight in?).

It’s worth following.

TasMot (profile) says:

Stop "Villifying" the Tool

Last time we wrote about it, it had been shelved following some aggressive work by lobbyists.

Please be more clear. Were these the good lobbyist or the bad lobbyists. It is rare that only one side is doing any lobbying. If lobbying is bad, then neither side should be doing it. Like many of the discussions here, lobbying is a “tool” that is used by both/all sides of the argument. Are these the evil purble lobbyist, the orangtuan underground lobbyist, or ones who happen to be working toward the side you like. Please stop villifying lobbying/lobbyist since “it is a tool”/”they are tool users” that can support either/any side of a proposal/argument. Otherwise, the next time there is a call to “lobby your local government representative” to support “XYZ” good position that you like, supporters will need to get over the bad lobbyist picture that has been painted. Please correctly state the position you want to support and the one you want to defeat and stop villifying the tools of the trade since you will want to use them to support your position as well to fight the good fight.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Stop "Villifying" the Tool

If lobbying is bad, then neither side should be doing it.

Lobbying is illegal in Brazil. Criminally speaking. What Yahoo may be doing is throwing their weight in the discussion (which is legal). So what Yahoo is doing (let us believe it doesn’t involve money) is not really lobbying in the strict sense of the word. However even if they were providing money one has to wonder if it is really wrong. The other side of the debate has thrown a whole load of money in via excusable ways. It happens all the time. It’s very hard to fight when the money and the media are on the wrong side of the table. How can you do it by being completely honest? I wonder.

Please stop villifying lobbying/lobbyist since “it is a tool”/”they are tool users” that can support either/any side of a proposal/argument.

Lobby by itself is a tool indeed but it’s a very bad tool. I say vilify it as much as possible. There shouldn’t be any need to loobby if the proposal is the right thing to do. You can have public audiences where points of view can be exposed and discussed where the public, the ultimate interest in anything concerning the Govt, is heavily represented or even allowed in. Again, as it is now, lobby is poisonous and evil.

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