We recent wrote about Brazil's very welcome decision to fix its widely abused third party liability
issues, by saying service providers would only need to take down any kind of content with a court order (i.e., no simple "notice and takedown.") This is a very smart move that protects freedom of speech as a key principle, and assures due process before any kind of content (not just for copyright issues) is removed. However, not everyone agrees. Marcelo Thompson
, a professor and acting co-director of the Law and Technology Centre at the University of Hong Kong sends in a write-up he did expressing serious concerns about such a policy
, worrying that it would make Brazil a hub for service providers, where forms of "victimization," privacy violations and cyberbullying cannot easily be dealt with. He says:
Imagine if all online service providers decide to move to Brazil
While I can see Thompson's basic concern, I'm afraid I don't see how it's justified. The bill does still retain ways to take down that content under a court order. Thus, there is due process in place. Will the process sometimes be abused? Certainly. But that's the price one pays for supporting free expression.